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The Role of the Legal System and the Media in the Dehumanization of Child Migrants at the Border

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In recent years, immigration, especially concerning those individuals immigrating from Central America and Mexico, has become increasingly controversial. Within the last five presidents, policies concerning immigration have shifted. Under President

In recent years, immigration, especially concerning those individuals immigrating from Central America and Mexico, has become increasingly controversial. Within the last five presidents, policies concerning immigration have shifted. Under President Bill Clinton in 1997, the Flores Settlement, an agreement between immigration activist organizations and the government that created standards for detaining accompanied and unaccompanied minors was made. Following 9/11, in 2005, President George W. Bush increased the amount of money spent on immigration enforcement in an effort to deport more immigrants. President Barack Obama increased the number of deportations from President Bush during his first term. However, in 2014, an already imperfect immigration system was disrupted by an influx of child immigrants. As a result, detention centers were at capacity and unable to accommodate the increasing numbers of immigrants. Child migrants were placed in caged-areas, immigration lawyers and courts quickly became overwhelmed with cases, and children were alone and could barely communicate. This thesis explores the various relationships between accompanied and unaccompanied minors from Central America, the American legal system, and the media and broadcast news outlets’ rhetoric concerning child migrants. Focusing on the ways in which immigrant minors are objectified by the legal system and the framing of immigrants in the media, it is evident that their complex interaction allows for the oppression of the child migrants. Since the American legal system and the media influence and respond to each other, the responsibility of the child migrants’ dehumanization is on both the legal system and the rhetoric of the media and broadcast news outlets.

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  • 2021-05

British Colonialism and the Perpetuation of Inequality via the Caste System in Up the Country and India in 1848

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British colonialism was a well-established facet of Western history. The British have been especially notable in colonizing countries within Africa as well as India. In terms of India, the ramifications

British colonialism was a well-established facet of Western history. The British have been especially notable in colonizing countries within Africa as well as India. In terms of India, the ramifications of their actions have had a significant impact on the social and political structure from the 19th century to modernity. Many scholars have alleged that brutalities set forth by the British and the discriminatory practices enforced onto the Indian population were entirely new. However, while the violence incurred cannot be ignored, the actual governance and structural changes were heavily influenced by the Hindu caste system already established within India. The Hindu caste system is a centuries-old practice that designates followers into five, family-determined, class denominations from highest to lowest: Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (rulers and warriors), Vaishyas (merchants, landowners, skilled workers), Shudras (farmworkers, servants, and unskilled workers), and Dalits (out-casts). The given thesis focuses on the perceptions and interactions of the British in 19th century India as well as the structural changes enforced by the British. Numerous nineteenth-century texts such as Up the Country by Emily Eden and India in 1848 by Arthur Mills, M.P. Murray were centered on the environment and day-to-day changes of India in the form of travel/informational readings. Both texts are utilized in this argument to highlight how the caste system was a contributing factor in British administration, contrary to the general perception of scholars. More importantly, Up the Country, offers a glimpse of the realities within northern India, where the British had the strongest control and is utilized to draw parallels between the caste system and British actions during the 1800s. The effects of discrimination and inequality continue to have a considerable effect on the Indian population to this day. However, the British have hastily been given total blame for such ramifications without considering the role of Indian societal principles in these disparities.

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  • 2021-05

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Infantalization, Anti-Feminism, and The Female Sexuality of Vivisection in Wilkie Collins's Heart and Science by Mariah Merriam

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In Wilkie Collins’s Heart and Science, gender is handled very carefully and intentionally. The women within this novel are characterized into two categories: sexually inexperienced and intellectually provocative. Women in

In Wilkie Collins’s Heart and Science, gender is handled very carefully and intentionally. The women within this novel are characterized into two categories: sexually inexperienced and intellectually provocative. Women in the novel that represent the ideal English woman, such as Carmina, are presented as sexually inexperienced and full of compassion for animals. The ideal woman was child-like in her sexual inexperience and naivety towards topics easily understood by men. Meanwhile, women who represented the New Woman, such as Mrs. Gallilee, are presented as intellectually provocative and cruel. The New Woman was a woman who did not conform to societal expectations of women in the 19th century, and Collins’s interpretation of the New Woman as void of compassion reflects the public tensions against the insertion of women into male-dominated fields during the Women’s Rights Movement. This strain is integral to understanding the insurmountable pressures placed upon Victorian women in a society, such that society would dissect her choices and presentation regardless of which category she fell in.<br/><br/> Both the ideal woman and the New Woman in Wilkie Collins’s “Heart and Science” are repeatedly compared to children and animals, exposing the degraded stance of women within nineteenth-century society. Women were viewed as having lesser intellectual and emotional capabilities than their male counterparts, resulting in the association of women with other “lesser” beings. Collins’s negative portrayal of the New Woman and the pedophilic sexualization of the ideal woman represent how the Victorian woman was “vivisected” by patriarchal society. The meticulous and nonconsensual dissection of a woman’s entire being, from her sexuality to her intellectual capacity, resulted in women identifying with vivisected animals and thus resulted in a strong feminine presence in the Anti-Vivisection Movement. <br/><br/>The connection between women, the Anti-Vivisection Movement, and female sexuality provides context for the success of the Women’s Rights Movement. Victorian women stood against vivisection because they understood what it was like to have their bodies be used without their consent, and they understood the battle between men’s desires and women’s rights to their bodies. Women also identified with being picked apart by society, as a woman’s worth lay in her physical appearance and her sexual and intellectual reputation. Through the Anti-Vivisection Movement’s success, women realized that they could insert themselves into scientific conversation and succeeding at helping those who are voiceless. The traction from the Anti-Vivisection Movement carried into the fervor for the Women’s Rights Movement, because women stood together in a way that had never been done before and rejected all preconceived notions of their status in society.

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  • 2021-05

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Thriving as a Jew in Victorian Britain: Scapegoat or Get Scapegoated

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The rigid hierarchical social structures that dictated nineteenth-century English society were capped at the municipal level for anyone who was not an Anglican citizen of Britain. Rather than shirk this

The rigid hierarchical social structures that dictated nineteenth-century English society were capped at the municipal level for anyone who was not an Anglican citizen of Britain. Rather than shirk this exclusion, many communities who fell outside of the upper echelon of society mimicked this practice internally. One such example of this adoption was the Jewish community in Britain; in order to be accepted into aristocratic Britain, a handful of generationally wealthy Anglo-Jews conducted a campaign to elevate themselves across the Victorian era through demonizing their less assimilated Jewish brethren. In 1828, Roman Catholics and Protestant dissenters were granted parliamentary access, and the absence of this ability shot to the forefront of concern in Jewish High-Society. What ensued was an attempt to mold their Jewishness into a form as close to Protestantism as possible, and a campaign to separate their community from the vast majority of Jews who were not Anglo-born. In an effort to distance themselves from the less palatable Jews, England's most privileged Jews placed perpetuations of antisemitic stereotypes upon other Jews in order to show their demonstrable difference. Anglo-Jews, successfully, made the case that the form of Judaism which they practiced was a more refined version of the exotic savagery that was the other type of Judaism. The influx of Eastern European refugees in the 1840s fleeing pogroms and antisemitic legislation aided Anglo-Jews in making the case for their separation from Ashkenazim. By othering, their non-anglo counterparts, the highest class of the Jewish society in Britain mimicked the British colonial mentality in verbalizing and specifying their superiority.

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  • 2021-05

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Victorian Anthropomorphization of Dogs, Birds, and Primates and the Dehumanization of Undisciplined Peoples

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1. Across modern literature focusing on Victorian views of animals, scholars have observed that Victorians compare non-European people, women, and children to animals via anthropomorphization or the attribution of human characteristics

1. Across modern literature focusing on Victorian views of animals, scholars have observed that Victorians compare non-European people, women, and children to animals via anthropomorphization or the attribution of human characteristics to an animal. It is crucial to look at non-Europeans, women, and children because they represent a Populus that Victorians perceived as needing to be civilized. During this time period, colonization by Britain was rampant, women were questioning the validity of their societal roles, and children needed to be a successful generation for the future of Britain. The Victorian novels, Heart and Science and The Island of Doctor Moreau both provide fascinating examples of anthropomorphization in entirely different ways. Heart and Science takes place in the British metropole and merely fantasizes about anthropomorphization while The Island of Doctor realizes that fantasy on a remote island controlled by a French scientist who turns animals into humanized Beast People. Analysis of these novels allows readers to see how Victorians fantasized about anthropomorphization and how that connects back to their need for control and dominance. Furthermore, the various scholars brought up in this thesis discuss how non-Europeans, women, and children were all alike compared to canines, birds, and primates across Victorian literature and art. These scholars begin to point out the anthropomorphization that occurred in Victorian society and literature, but they either downplay the role of anthropomorphization or fail to address it. This failure leads to an inability to see the full subtly of British dominance over people regarded as undisciplined and could lead to ignorance of how long anthropomorphization has existed.

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  • 2021-05

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The Vilification of Wilderness and Its Relation to the African Experience in Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Joseph Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness: An Ecocriticism

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First-wave ecocriticism, while studying the relationship between humans and the environment with the focus of emphasizing the value of nature, maintains a categorical divide between these two highly connected subjects.

First-wave ecocriticism, while studying the relationship between humans and the environment with the focus of emphasizing the value of nature, maintains a categorical divide between these two highly connected subjects. However, second-wave ecocritical studies reduce this gap between nature and humans by analyzing the environment’s ultimate self, humans as part of that environment, and comparisons between the treatment of enslaved bodies and the land. A second-wave ecocritical approach is used to examine the vilification of wilderness versus the claim of the cultivated environment despite its violent history and its impact on other captive bodies within Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899) and Toni Morrison's Beloved (1987). It finds the perception of the wilderness is used to define other enslaved entities, characterizing them as villainous and so excusing their exploitation and mistreatment. Conrad's novel follows the story of Marlow and internally, the story of Kurtz, both of whom are members of The Company that goes on expeditions to find ivory in the Congo. The jungle, which is seen as a possession and exploitable by other colonists, differs from Kurtz’ view after living with the Natives in the Congo. Rather, Marlow finds that European colonists possessive hunt for ivory, a sought-after commodity, into territory they claimed for themselves after brandishing it wild, reflected their perceived darkness of the jungle back onto themselves. Morrison’s novel introduces Sethe, who kills her child, Beloved, to spare her from the life of a slave. In both novels, the utility of the enslaved body is regarded as more important than its selfhood, which serves to not only categorize slaves as lower than both humans and animals, but removes their ability to represent themselves through communication, further disallowing them to own themselves or speak against actions that have been taken against them.

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  • 2021-05

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Reimagination and Retaliation: Medical Technology, Orientalism, and Smallpox Variolation in the British Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

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The nineteenth-century invention of smallpox vaccination in Great Britain has been well studied for its significance in the history of medicine as well as the ways in which it exposes

The nineteenth-century invention of smallpox vaccination in Great Britain has been well studied for its significance in the history of medicine as well as the ways in which it exposes Victorian anxieties regarding British nationalism, rural and urban class struggles, the behaviors of women, and animal contamination. Yet inoculation against smallpox by variolation, vaccination’s predecessor and a well-established Chinese medical technique that was spread from east to west to Great Britain, remains largely understudied in modern scholarly literature. In the early 1700s, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, credited with bringing smallpox variolation to Great Britain, wrote first about the practice in the Turkish city of Adrianople and describes variolation as a “useful invention,” yet laments that, unlike the Turkish women who variolate only those in their “small neighborhoods,” British doctors would be able to “destroy this [disease] swiftly” worldwide should they adopt variolation. Examined through the lens of Edward Said’s Orientalism, techno-Orientalism, and medical Orientalism and contextualized by a comparison to British attitudes toward nineteenth century vaccination, eighteenth century smallpox variolation’s introduction to Britain from the non-British “Orient” represents an instance of reversed Orientalism, in which a technologically deficient British “Occident” must “Orientalize” itself to import the superior medical technology of variolation into Britain. In a scramble to retain technological superiority over the Chinese Orient, Britain manufactures a sense of total difference between an imagined British version of variolation and a real, non-British version of variolation. This imagination of total difference is maintained through characterizations of the non-British variolation as ancient, unsafe, and practiced by illegitimate practitioners, while the imagined British variolation is characterized as safe, heroic, and practiced by legitimate British medical doctors. The Occident’s instance of medical technological inferiority brought about by the importation of variolation from the Orient, which I propose represents an eighteenth-century instance of what I call medical techno-Orientalism, represents an expression of British anxiety over a medical technologically superior Orient—anxieties which express themselves as retaliatory attacks on the Orient and variolation as it is practiced in the Orient—and as an expression of British desire to maintain medical technological superiority over the Orient.

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  • 2021-05

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(Re)memories of Slavery: An Examination of the Traumatic Past,Present, and Future Depicted in Toni Morrison’s Beloved

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The application of Toni Morrison’s Beloved as a lens through which one can analyze intergenerational trauma on an individual and communal level results in a blueprint towards a remedial process.

The application of Toni Morrison’s Beloved as a lens through which one can analyze intergenerational trauma on an individual and communal level results in a blueprint towards a remedial process. The characters and their experiences in her novel are representative of a myriad of ways in which trauma is manifested. I have broken down the concept of intergenerational trauma into the idea that it can be seen as the state where one is both simultaneously “falling” and “fallen” at the same time. Used here, the term “falling” refers to the consistent, individual trauma that one is experiencing. On the other hand, the term “fallen” refers to the trauma that a community as a whole has experienced and internalized. This framework that I establish based off of Beloved is a launching point for the conversation surrounding the topic of remedial actions in relation to intergenerational trauma that resulted from slavery. Using it as a basis of knowledge allows one to truly gather the weight of the situation regarding trauma postbellum. Considering the current climate surrounding any meaningful dialogue, knowledge is one of the most important aspects. Along with the concepts of “falling”/”fallen,” I also coined the term productive memory, which refers to the act of confrontation as well as the remembering of intergenerational trauma. The use of productive memory is imperative in addressing the prior ideas presented regarding intergenerational trauma and the possible pathways to move forward.

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  • 2021-05

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Être Pédé et Pauvre: En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule’s Exploration of Poverty and Gay Performativity

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When discussing gay literature in the French, contemporary sphere, one of the most up<br/>and coming and prominent authors is Édouard Louis. His works’ focus on the realism and<br/>violence of the

When discussing gay literature in the French, contemporary sphere, one of the most up<br/>and coming and prominent authors is Édouard Louis. His works’ focus on the realism and<br/>violence of the working class offers a critical and necessary perspective of the gay experience in<br/>modern-day France. While recent in their creation, Louis’ works follow a connecting thread that<br/>is inseparable from other autofiction novels that have a narrator with same sex attractions such as<br/>Annie Ernaux’s Ce qu’ils disent or rien and Didier Eribon’s Retour à Reims. Often commonly<br/>discussed as French LGBT literature, these autofictional works that extend from Gide to Eribon<br/>to now Louis demonstrate how the proposed societal dualities, limitations, and hierarchies<br/>described by philosophers like Michel Foucault and Judith Butler affect homosexual<br/>performativity. Louis’ first novel En finir avec Eddy Bellegueule, published on January 2, 2014,<br/>offers another illustration of this analysis. It specifically describes the metaphysical<br/>(metaphysical being the relationship between the outer stimuli and internal perspective) effects<br/>and constraints of current poverty on homosexual performativity. By analyzing En finir avec<br/>Eddy Bellegueule through this theoretical framework of power and poverty, this thesis adds a<br/>theoretical and intersectional nuance to the narrative voice that current literature focusing on the<br/>novel’s landscape mentions but does not reflect on. I argue that it is important to attach an<br/>autofictional timeline that is necessary to promote and apply future ontological doctrines to this<br/>genre.

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  • 2021-05

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The Complications Associated with Place and Belonging for Latinx Immigrant Mothers

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For immigrants around the world, the United States represents hope for a new life and new opportunities. Colleen Vesely, Bethany Letiecq, and Rachael Goodman, in their article “Parenting Across Two

For immigrants around the world, the United States represents hope for a new life and new opportunities. Colleen Vesely, Bethany Letiecq, and Rachael Goodman, in their article “Parenting Across Two Worlds: Low-Income Latina Immigrants’ Adaptation to Motherhood in the United States” provide examples of how real-world Latinx immigrant mothers view their experience in the United States. Many of the stories they include tell idealized versions of the American dream, what all people hope for when they immigrate to America. The immigrants they interviewed commonly talk about how they want to create a better life for their children and how by creating a better life for them it made the entire struggle worth it. Vesely, Letiecq, and Goodman do not just focus on the positives of immigration, they also explore the different barriers they must overcome in order to even try and achieve the ideal immigration experience they dream of. Cristina Henríquez perfectly embodies both the hopes and struggles of immigrants in her novel The Book of Unknown Americans (2015) by using the viewpoints of multiple immigrants to tell their specific immigration stories. This project uses Vesely, Letiecq, and Goodman’s article about the challenges of Latinx immigrant mothers’ experiences in the United States as a basis for my argument. In this thesis I postulate that motherhood, as it others women, has a negative impact on the ability of these Latinx immigrant mothers to create a place for themselves and feel a sense of belonging as depicted in Cristina Henríquez’s The Book Unknown of Americans (2015).

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  • 2021-05