Matching Items (24)

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Buried Under Dodger Blue: Racial Rhetorical Criticism, Public Memory, and Fernandomania

Description

In 1981, Fernando Valenzuela had one of the most unlikely rookie seasons for theLos Angeles Dodgers. Originally from a rural farm town in northern Mexico, he left an enduring legacy

In 1981, Fernando Valenzuela had one of the most unlikely rookie seasons for theLos Angeles Dodgers. Originally from a rural farm town in northern Mexico, he left an enduring legacy that persists within Mexican/American and Latinx fans and communities throughout Los Angeles. Not only did Fernando help the Dodgers capture the World Series, he captured the hearts of the people and the communities who had shunned the Dodgers for decades. This act of protest was a response to the destruction of three neighborhoods—La Paloma, Palo Verde, and Bishop—that were destroyed amid a protracted legal battle with the city of Los Angeles throughout the 1950’s that culminated in coercion, violence, and a new baseball stadium. This project intends to remember the neighborhoods of La Paloma, Palo Verde, and Bishop and those who lost their homes alongside the public memory of Fernando Valenzuela’s unlikely rookie season, dubbed Fernandomania, and his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. I illumine how the public memories of Fernandomania, a moment of communitas, and Fernando Valenzuela have facilitated the public forgetting of La Loma, Palo Verde, and Bishop by making Chavez Ravine into a novel public idiom for American baseball rather than a site of violence and resistance. In the process of facilitating the public forgetting of these neighborhoods, the sports media commits a pernicious discursive violence upon Fernando Valenzuela’s hyper-visible brown body that reveals the workings of a white racial frame designed to protect American baseball’s white masculine ideology. Ultimately, the Los Angeles Dodgers benefit from Fernando’s unmistakably cultural and racial Mexican identity—the source of his otherization and incongruity with American baseball’s white heroism—as the transgressions of the past are slowly forgotten.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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They called me an alien: Hanns Eisler's American years, 1935-1948

Description

In the 1930s, with the rise of Nazism, many artists in Europe had to flee their homelands and sought refuge in the United States. Austrian composer Hanns Eisler who had

In the 1930s, with the rise of Nazism, many artists in Europe had to flee their homelands and sought refuge in the United States. Austrian composer Hanns Eisler who had risen to prominence as a significant composer during the Weimar era was among them. A Jew, an ardent Marxist and composer devoted to musical modernism, he had established himself as a writer of film music and Kampflieder, fighting songs, for the European workers' movement. After two visits of the United States in the mid-1930s, Eisler settled in America where he spent a decade (1938-1948), composed a considerable number of musical works, including important film scores, instrumental music and songs, and, in collaboration with Theodor W. Adorno, penned the influential treatise Composing for the Films. Yet despite his substantial contributions to American culture American scholarship on Eisler has remained sparse, perhaps due to his reputation as the "Karl Marx in Music." In this study I examine Eisler's American exile and argue that Eisler, through his roles as a musician and a teacher, actively sought to enrich American culture. I will present background for his exile years, a detailed overview of his American career as well as analyses and close readings of several of his American works, including three of his American film scores, Pete Roleum and His Cousins (1939), Hangmen Also Die (1943), and None But the Lonely Heart (1944), and the String Quartet (1940), Third Piano Sonata (1943), Woodbury Liederbüchlein (1941), and Hollywood Songbook (1942-7). This thesis builds upon unpublished correspondence and documents available only in special collections at the University of Southern California (USC), as well as film scores in archives at USC and the University of California, Los Angeles. It also draws on Eisler studies by such European scholars as Albrecht Betz, Jürgen Schebera, and Horst Weber, as well as on research of film music scholars Sally Bick and Claudia Gorbman. As there is little written on the particulars of Eisler's American years, this thesis presents new facts and new perspectives and aims at a better understanding of the artistic achievements of this composer.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Contemporary indigenous oral tradition: a bicycle story for the people

Description

Oral Tradition is a concept that is often discussed in American Indian Studies (AIS). However, much of the writing and scholarship in AIS is constructed using a Western academic framework.

Oral Tradition is a concept that is often discussed in American Indian Studies (AIS). However, much of the writing and scholarship in AIS is constructed using a Western academic framework. With this in mind, I embarked on an approximate nine hundred mile loop that circled much of the ancestral lands of the Northern Paiute and Western Shoshone of Nevada. I passed through sixteen towns, stopping at ten reservations (Walker River Paiute Tribe, Yerington Paiute Tribe, Stuart Indian School, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Lovelock Paiute Tribe, Fort McDermitt Paiute-Shoshone, Duck Valley, Yomba Shoshone, Fallon Paiute-Shoshone) and two colleges (University of Nevada, Reno and Great Basin College). At each location I engaged with community members, discussed prevalent themes in American Indian Studies, and in riding my bicycle, I was able to reconnect with the land. To guide my bicycle journey, I used a theoretical framework consisting of four components: history, story, Red Power, and the physical body. Using these concepts, the intent was to re-center the narrative of my experience around the Paiute-Shoshone community of Nevada as opposed to me as an individual actor. Ultimately, this thesis embodies theoretical scholarship in a pragmatic manner in an effort to provide an example of contemporary Indigenous Oral Tradition.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Starving for justice: reading the relationship between food and criminal justice through creative works of the Black community

Description

ABSTRACT

Much attention has been given to food justice in both academic and activist communities as of late. This project adds to the growing discourse around food justice by using creative

ABSTRACT

Much attention has been given to food justice in both academic and activist communities as of late. This project adds to the growing discourse around food justice by using creative works produced by members of the black community as case studies to analyze the relationship between food justice and the criminal justice system in their neighborhoods. In particular, this project examines two unique sources of creative expression from the black community. The first is the novel Been ‘Bout Dat, the story of a young boy Fattz, who is born into the projects of New Orleans and takes to street life in order to provide for his siblings and struggling single mother. Written in prison by Johnny Davis it offers a valuable perspective that is combined with historical context and statistical support to construct an understanding of how concepts of food and criminal justice influence each other. The second source is the lyrical content of several hip-hop songs from rappers such as Tupac Shakur, Mos Def, Nas, and Young Jeezy. Comparing the content of these works and the lived realities expressed in both brings new and useful insights about food justice and criminal justice as experienced in poor minority communities. Recognizing this relationship may illuminate solutions to food justice issues through criminal justice reform as well as inform fresh efforts at community renewal.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Guantánamo: The Amen Temple of Empire

Description

Guantánamo: The Amen Temple of Empire connects the fetishization of the trauma of nine/eleven with the co-constitution of subjects at Guantánamo—that of the contained Muslim terrorist prisoner silhouetted against the

Guantánamo: The Amen Temple of Empire connects the fetishization of the trauma of nine/eleven with the co-constitution of subjects at Guantánamo—that of the contained Muslim terrorist prisoner silhouetted against the ideal nationalistic military body—circulated as ‘afterimages’ that carry ideological narratives about U.S. Empire. These narratives in turn religiously and racially charge the new normative practices of the security state and its historically haunted symbolic order. As individuals with complex subjectivities, the prisoners and guards are, of course, not reducible to the standardizing imprimatur of the state or its narratives. Despite the circulation of these ‘afterimages’ as fixed currency, the prisoners and guards produce their own metanarratives, through their para-ethnographic accounts of containment and of self. From within the panopticon of the prison, they seek sight lines, and gaze back at the state. This dissertation is thus a meditation on US militarism, violence, torture, race, and carceral practices, revealed thematically through metaphors of hungry ghosts, nature, journey and death, liminality, time, space, community, and salvage. Based on a multi-sited, empirical and imaginary ethnography, as well as textual and discourse analysis, I draw on the writing and testimony of prisoners, and military and intelligence personnel, whom I consider insightful para-ethnographers of the haunting valence of this fetishized historical event.

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Date Created
  • 2018

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Mormonism and the new spirituality: LDS women's hybrid spiritualities

Description

This dissertation illuminates overlaps in Mormonism and the New Spirituality in North America, showing their shared history and epistemologies. As example of these connections, it introduces ethnographic data from women

This dissertation illuminates overlaps in Mormonism and the New Spirituality in North America, showing their shared history and epistemologies. As example of these connections, it introduces ethnographic data from women who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in order to show (a) how living LDS women adapt and integrate elements from the New Spirituality with Mormon ideas about the nature of reality into hybrid spiritualities; and (b) how they negotiate their blended religious identities both in relation to the current American New Spirituality milieu and the highly centralized, hierarchical, and patriarchal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The study focuses on religious hybridity with an emphasis on gender and the negotiation of power deriving from patriarchal religious authority, highlighting the dance between institutional power structures and individual authority. It illuminates processes and discourses of religious adaptation and synthesis through which these LDS women creatively and provocatively challenge LDS Church formal power structures.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Mormons and the World's Fair 1893: a study of religious and cultural agency and transformation

Description

My dissertation project, Mormons at the World's Fair: A Study of Religious and Cultural Agency and Transformation looks at a pivotal period of transition within the American religious and political

My dissertation project, Mormons at the World's Fair: A Study of Religious and Cultural Agency and Transformation looks at a pivotal period of transition within the American religious and political national culture (1880-1907). Using Mormonism as an important focal point of national controversy and cultural change, this dissertation looks at the interconnections between Mormon transitions and the larger national transformations then under way in what historians call the "progressive" era. Prominent scholars have recognized the 1893 World's Fair as an important moment that helped initiate the "dawning" of religious pluralism in America. This national response to American religious diversity, however, is limited to a nineteenth-century historiographical framework, which made real religious pluralism in the next century more difficult. Bringing together into one narrative the story of the anti-polygamy crusades of the 1880s, the ambivalent presence (and non presence) of Mormonism at the World's Fair of 1893, and the drawn-out US Senate Hearings and ultimate victory of Mormon apostle and Senator Reed Smoot in 1907, this dissertation offers new insights into the meaning and limitations of American religious liberty, the dynamics of minority agency, as well as a deeper understanding of America's developing national identity.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Decolonizing the Anthropocene: an ecocritical reinterpretation of visual culture

Description

This thesis is an ecocritical, art historical inquiry into colonization, globalization, climate change as well as perceptions of American nationalism and Manifest Destiny through the overarching concept of the Anthropocene.

This thesis is an ecocritical, art historical inquiry into colonization, globalization, climate change as well as perceptions of American nationalism and Manifest Destiny through the overarching concept of the Anthropocene. The focus is on the United States specifically and entails an analysis of American society and culture from a global standpoint. First, an overview of origins and impacts of the Anthropocene concept is given. The thesis then explores works of visual culture by ten different artists through diverse subconcepts. Colonial history, neocolonialism, and globalization are examined through the Roanoke watercolors (1585) by John White, A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby (May-July 2014) by African American artist Kara Walker, and the Insertions into Ideological Circuits series (1970-ongoing) by Brazilian artist Cildo Meireles. In a further step, anthropogenic environmental destruction as part of visual and conceptual art is traced over a period of 130 years. The works Lower Manhattan from Communipaw, New Jersey (1880) by Thomas Moran, Erosion No. 2 - Mother Earth Laid Bare (1936) by Alexandre Hogue, and HighWaterLine (2007) by contemporary artist Eve Mosher provide a basis for this analysis. Finally, The Consummation of Empire and Destruction from The Course of Empire series (1836) by Thomas Cole, Emanuel Leutze’s Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way (1862), John Gast’s American Progress (1872), and Amy Balkin’s Sell Us Your Liberty, or We’ll Subcontract Your Death (2008) are examined to reveal how American exceptionalism and nationalism have influenced domestic policy as well as foreign policy in the past and the present. Visual works have agency while, on the one hand, functioning as a means for propagandizing Anthropocene symptoms and consequences. On the other hand, they can serve as leverage for ecocritical readings and as catalysts for social change.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Comparing Two Samples on the Issue of Gun Control: A Student Sample and the General Population

Description

This thesis compares and contrasts attitudes on the issue of gun control between the general population and a student sample in the United States today. Through a comparative survey analysis

This thesis compares and contrasts attitudes on the issue of gun control between the general population and a student sample in the United States today. Through a comparative survey analysis design, this study aims to better understand attitudes towards gun control in the United States. Due to the fact that students may believe they are at a higher risk of gun violence, and because of their increased participation in gun control activism, this thesis hypothesizes that students will be more likely to favor restrictions on gun regulation. Although both samples share similar attitudes, these results show that students held much more passionate, negative, and dissatisfied attitudes and opinions on the current gun climate in the United States, relative to the general public. However, students are less in favor than the sample of the general public in supporting gun-safety policies when in the context of school-settings.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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The "American Sublime" in Symphonic Music of the United States: Case Study Applications of a Literary and Visual Arts Aesthetic

Description

The American sublime aesthetic, discussed frequently in literature and art of the United States, is equally manifest in the nation’s symphonic music as a concurrent and complementary aesthetic. The musical

The American sublime aesthetic, discussed frequently in literature and art of the United States, is equally manifest in the nation’s symphonic music as a concurrent and complementary aesthetic. The musical application of the American sublime supports and enriches current scholarship on American musical identity, nationality, and the American symphonic enterprise. I suggest that the American sublime forms an integral part of nineteenth-century American music and is key to understanding the symphony as a genre in the United States. I discuss American symphonic works by Anthony Philip Heinrich, George Frederick Bristow, William Henry Fry, Dennison Wheelock, and Florence Beatrice Price, aided by an analytical tool which I developed, to illuminate my appraisal of the nineteenth-century American symphonic enterprise. Their compositions contribute meaningfully to the complex history of identity formation for both American composers and the nation. In focusing on these incorporations of the sublime by white composers and composers of color from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, my research demonstrates how the American sublime expanded and transformed to better accommodate the country’s diverse citizenry, despite the marginalization of some.

The nineteenth-century trans-Atlantic dialogue between Americans and their European contemporaries sustained a “distinctly cosmopolitan cultural ethos,” a phenomenon also described by Douglas Shadle as “one of the most vibrant intercultural exchanges in all of Western music history.” This dialogue shaped the cultural formation of identity for many American composers throughout the century and provided the foundation for a symphonic repertoire, which became internationally recognized for the first time as “American.” In this cosmopolitan environment, the Americanization of the sublime aided in the rebranding of long-established European artistic expressions like the symphony, while perpetuating the idealization of the nation’s geography, its people, and its beliefs. Perhaps most importantly, the American sublime supported the widely held belief in American exceptionalism and manifest destiny. The applicability of the American sublime to various genres made it a useful tool to assert autonomy and individuality in forms such as the symphony. For this reason, a revaluation of American symphonic music and its relation to the American sublime amplifies the significance of this repertoire.

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Date Created
  • 2020