Matching Items (19)

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Desire and Fascism: The Rise of 21st-Century Nazism in the United States

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In August of 2017, the Unite the Right rally surged through Charlottesville, VA, turning violent and ending in the injury 30 people. Who participates in alt-right movements, and what were

In August of 2017, the Unite the Right rally surged through Charlottesville, VA, turning violent and ending in the injury 30 people. Who participates in alt-right movements, and what were the conditions of its possibility? Why is white supremacist ideology resurfacing now, and what makes contemporary white supremacy so pervasive and so dangerous? In this thesis, I forward a Lacanian psychoanalysis of the alt-right, beginning with Donald Trump, and then exploring the movement as a whole, in its relationship to the affect of belonging, the Master-Signifier of whiteness, and masculinity/sexuality as a whole. I conclude with a consideration of potential responses to alt-right violence.

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  • 2018-05

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THE HINDU HOLY COW AND THE AMERICAN ANIMAL: A CRITICAL COMPARISON OF HUMAN-ANIMAL RELATIONSHIP

Description

Painting two grand stories, I set out to compare human-animal relationships, as realized by the Holy Cow among Hindus in India and stock and pet animals among people in America.

Painting two grand stories, I set out to compare human-animal relationships, as realized by the Holy Cow among Hindus in India and stock and pet animals among people in America. The goal of these comparisons is to determine in what ways the relationships that Indians and Americans have towards animals can be made relevant to one another. This is done by concentrating on how the human perceptions of animals are informed by religious, political, and economic contexts, as well as how these perceptions inform the social costs of human-animal relationships within a society, as it pertains to both animals and humans. What I find is that the human-animal relationships are different in India and in America, but reveal similar tensions in both countries. In India, the Hindu Holy Cow is deified above the status of human, yet its embodiment of the Hindu cosmos and Hindu nationalist identity does not come without a cost for India as a society and nation. The American human-animal relationship is also caught in tension between two big perspectives. One, which is best exemplified by the stock cow, takes animals to be things of consumption, the other, which is best exemplified by the pet, makes animals into objects of anthropomorphism. Ultimately, the distinguished perspectives in India and America reveal divergent mechanisms, but comparable costs for humans and animals in both societies.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Our Shared Storm: Exploring Five Scenarios of Climate Fiction Futures

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This project uses the tools of speculative climate fiction to explore and imagine the future of the United Nations climate negotiations in each of the five Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP)

This project uses the tools of speculative climate fiction to explore and imagine the future of the United Nations climate negotiations in each of the five Shared Socioeconomic Pathway (SSP) scenarios. Climate fiction (cli-fi) proves a powerful but imperfect tool for envisioning future challenging and turning scientific models into meaningful narratives.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Mirrors and fears: humans in the bestiary

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The medieval bestiary is often simply described as a moralized "encyclopedia of animals," however, these so-called "books of beasts" were made for humans, by humans, about humans. It is therefore

The medieval bestiary is often simply described as a moralized "encyclopedia of animals," however, these so-called "books of beasts" were made for humans, by humans, about humans. It is therefore surprising that one common pictorial subject of the bestiary has been left unexamined: humans. By viewing bestiary images through this lens, one may easily see man's underlying and unresolved struggle to maintain dominance over the beasts, and the Others projected onto them, thereby ensuring that "the (hu)man" remains a discrete definition. This study begins as the bestiary does, with the Naming of the Animals. Illustrations of Adam as a king, bestowing names of his choosing upon tame beasts express a kind of nostalgia for a now-lost time when humanity was secure in their identity as non-animal. This security no longer exists in the postlapsarian world, nor in the bestiary images following these scenes. In an attempt to maintain the illusion of dominion, many bestiary illuminations forego simple descriptive images in favor of gory hunting scenes. However, these conspicuous declarations of dominion only serve to highlight the fragility of the physical form, and even demonstrate the frailty of the human (male, Christian) identity. One such example is MS Bodley 764's boar illumination, in which the animal is killed at the hands of male hunters. This thesis unpacks this image of dominion in order to reveal the associated insecurities regarding race, gender, and species that lie beneath the surface. Subsequently, the study turns to the many bestiary images depicting human bodies brutally fragmented within the jaws of an animal. Anthropophagous bestiary animals often carry fears of the gender and ethnic Other; despite the bestiary's posturing of order and hierarchy, both the human body and identity are easily consumed and subsumed into the ever-present animal/Other. Just as in life, the human figures in the bestiary struggle to establish unquestioned dominion, only to be constantly undercut by the abject. By using a psychoanalytic approach to the human bodies of the bestiary, this study will explore how this imagery reflects the ambiguous position and definition of the human.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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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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Norse romanticism: subversive female voices in British invocations of Nordic yore

Description

The mid-eighteenth century publication of national British folk collections like James MacPherson's Works of Ossian and Thomas Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, placed a newfound interest in the ancient

The mid-eighteenth century publication of national British folk collections like James MacPherson's Works of Ossian and Thomas Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, placed a newfound interest in the ancient literature associated with Northern/Gothic heritage. This shift from the classical past created a non-classical interest in the barbarism of Old Norse society, which appeared to closely resemble the Anglo-Saxons. In addition to this growing interest, Edmund Burke's seminal treatise, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, provided a newfound aesthetic interest in objects of terror. The barbaric obscurity and exoticism associated with the Norse culture provided the perfect figures to explore a Gothic heritage while invoking the terror of the sublime. This interest accounted for a variety of works published with Gothic themes and elements that included Old Norse pagan figures. Though a few scholars have attempted to shed light on this sub-field of Romanticism, it continues to lack critical attention, which inhibits a more holistic understanding of Romanticism. I argue that "Norse Romanticism" is a legitimate sub-field of Romanticism, made apparent by the number of primary works available from the age, and I synthesize the major works done thus far in creating a foundation for this field. I also argue that one of the tenets of Norse Romanticism is the newfound appreciation of the "Norse Woman" as a democratized figure, thus opening up a subversive space for dialogue in women's writing using the Gothic aesthetic. To illustrate this, I provide analysis of three Gothic poems written by women writers: Anna Seward's "Herva at the Tomb of Argantyr," Anne Bannerman's "The Nun," and Ann Radcliffe's "Salisbury Plains. Stonehenge." In addition, I supplement Robert Miles' theoretical reading of the Gothic with three philosophical essays on the empowerment of the imagination through terror writing in Anna Letitia Aikin (Barbauld) and John Aikin's "On the Pleasure Derived from Objects of Terror" and "On Romances" as well as Ann Radcliffe's "On the Supernatural in Poetry."

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Date Created
  • 2013

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The dirty joke of cyberpunk or the humanism of posthumanism in the cyberpunk tradition: epigenetic memory and technology in Gibson's Neuromancer and Stephenson's Snow crash

Description

What does it mean to be human or for that matter, posthuman, according to a cyberpunk? This paper navigates the experience of being human in the dystopian and highly technologized

What does it mean to be human or for that matter, posthuman, according to a cyberpunk? This paper navigates the experience of being human in the dystopian and highly technologized future worlds found within the cyberpunk literary tradition of the 1980s and early 1990s. This work explores the implication of what it means to be posthuman in these worlds, which are comprised of virtual realities and disembodied identities. This project first addresses posthumanism as a critical theory and its destabilization of the traditional concept of humanism with particular attention to the relationship between the human being and technology. After building a theoretical framework of posthumanism based on works by Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, and Bernard Stiegler, this paper then offers a survey of the cyberpunk tradition and the key themes developed and examined within the genre. The project then investigates two seminal works of the cyberpunk movement, William Gibson's 1984 novel, Neuromancer, and Neal Stephenson's 1992 work, Snow Crash, in order to trace a becoming posthuman as it is found within cyberpunk. As this paper further explains, the process of uncovering the posthuman within these texts produces a sense of loss and also nostalgia for a previous experience of being human which was already posthuman. The cyberpunk tradition and these novels in particular, reveal that there has always already been a degree of indeterminacy surrounding the question of what it means to be human. Through destabilizing traditionally held conceptions of humanism, cyberpunk and posthumanism offer the potential to rethink ourselves and our comportment towards the world knowing that technology always already informs our experience of being human.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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The emerging scientist: collectives of influence in the science network of nineteenth-century Britain

Description

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, there was no universal term to describe a person who practiced science. In 1833, the term “scientist” was proposed to recognize these individuals,

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, there was no universal term to describe a person who practiced science. In 1833, the term “scientist” was proposed to recognize these individuals, but exactly who was represented by this term was still ambiguous. Supported by Bruno Latour’s theory of networks and hybridity, The Emerging Scientist takes a historical approach to analyze the different collectives of individuals who influenced the cultural perception of science and therefore aided in defining the role of the emerging scientist during the nineteenth century.

Each chapter focuses on a collective in the science network that influenced the development of the scientist across the changing scientific landscape of the nineteenth century. Through a study of William Small and Herbert Spencer, the first chapter investigates the informal clubs that prove to be highly influential due, in part, to the freedom individuals gain by being outside of formal institutions. Through an investigation of the lives and works of professional astronomer, Caroline Herschel, and physicist and mathematician, James Clerk Maxwell, chapter two analyzes the collective of professional practitioners of science to unveil the way in which scientific advancement actually occurred. Chapter three argues for the role of women in democratizing science and expanding the pool from which future scientists would come through a close analysis of Jane Marcet and Agnes Clerke, members of the collective of female popularizers of science. The final chapter examines how the collective of fictional depictions of science and the scientist ultimately are part of the cultural perception of the scientist through a close reading of Shelley’s Alastor; or, the Spirit of Solitude and Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. Ultimately, The Emerging Scientist aims to recreate the way science is studied in order to generate a more comprehensive understanding of the influences on developing science and the scientist during the nineteenth century.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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The Open Hand: Making Room for the Depth of Things

Description

This dissertation proposes the concept of “the open hand” as a philosophy of openness. The need for a philosophy of openness is derived from the contemporary turn towards things that

This dissertation proposes the concept of “the open hand” as a philosophy of openness. The need for a philosophy of openness is derived from the contemporary turn towards things that is anchored in continental thought, but is at work in a variety of disciplines. This current interest in things has stirred the critique that the normalized human grasp on things is deficient because it cannot suitably handle the reality that intangible depth inheres in all things human and nonhuman. From the pandemic of SARS-CoV-2 and its disease COVID-19 to issues of social justice, the need to make room for the abyssal side of things is as compelling as ever. However, accommodating the deep reality of all things is complicated by the fact that it requires an orientation not guided by self-centered insularity, but by a serviceable theory of self-emptying openness. Sketching a philosophy of openness with the open hand, this dissertation reveals that while openness to things is critical for solving the complex issues of the twenty-first century, its opposition not only has existential primacy, but also can be and has been exacerbated by humanity’s contemporary technological lifestyle.

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Date Created
  • 2020