Matching Items (28)

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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 the conditions of its possibility? Why is white supremacist ideology

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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Exciting the sublime: terror, interiority, and the power of Shelley in The Cenci

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The most horrific, darkest, and powerful forms of the sublime take place inside the enclosure of the human psyche; the interior of the mind is the playground for the sublime--not the crag and canyon filled natural world. For Immanuel Kant

The most horrific, darkest, and powerful forms of the sublime take place inside the enclosure of the human psyche; the interior of the mind is the playground for the sublime--not the crag and canyon filled natural world. For Immanuel Kant and Edmund Burke, the driving force of the power of the sublime stems from the feelings of pain and fear: where is that more manifested than in the mind? Unlike the common, traditional, and overwhelmed discussion of Percy Shelley and his contemporaries and the power of the sublime in nature, I will argue that in The Cenci, Shelley, through well-chosen diction and precise composition of terrifying images, fashions characters and scenes in an emotion-driven play that elevates the mind of the reader to a transcendent sublime experience. Through a discussion of the theories of the aesthetic of the sublime laid out by Longinus, Burke, and Kant, I will provide a foundation for the later discussion of the rhetorical sublime evoked by Shelley in the ardent and horrifying play that is The Cenci. Looking at the conventional application of the theories of the sublime to romantic writing will make evident the holes in the discussion of the sublime and romantic writings that have almost forgotten the powerful and psychological rhetorical aspect of the sublime that is emphasized in the theoretical writings of both Burke and Kant. To clarify what is traditionally associated with Shelley and the sublime, a brief analysis of the Shelleyean sublime and Shelley's 1816 poem "Mont Blanc" will prepare the reader for an unconventional, but every bit important and powerful, function of the sublime in the 1819 play The Cenci based on the horrific happenings of a historical 16th century Italian noble family.

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2011

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William Blake and systems theory: the attempted unification of history and psychology

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William Blake created a large body of artistic work over his lifetime, all of which is a testament to a unique man, a man who would not live by standards that he felt were binding and inadequate. Blake stated that

William Blake created a large body of artistic work over his lifetime, all of which is a testament to a unique man, a man who would not live by standards that he felt were binding and inadequate. Blake stated that he needed to create his own system so as not to be enslaved by a paradigm not of his own making. The result of this drive can be seen in his mythology and the meaning that he attempts to inscribe upon his own world. Throughout the corpus of his writings, Blake was working with complex systems. Beginning with contraries in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and The Songs of Innocence & Experience, he then took his work in the contraries and applied it to history and psychology in Europe a Prophecy and The First Book of Urizen. In Blake's use of history and psychology, he was actually broaching the idea of social systems and how they interact with and effect psychic systems. This paper looks at the genesis of Blake's systems through the contraries, up to the point where he attempts to bring social and psychological systems together into a universal system. He uses projection and introjection to try to close the gap in double contingency. However, grappling with this problem (as well as the issue of a universal system) proves to be too much when he reaches The Four Zoas. In his later works, some of these issues are resolved, but ultimately Blake is not able create a universal system.

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2012

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

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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

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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2020-05

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Ergodic Literature: The Rebirth of the Novel

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In a comparative analysis of Vladimir Nabokov's "Pale Fire" (1962) and Mark Z. Danielewski's "House of Leaves" (2000), common aesthetic values and principles of content assist in establishing them as manifestations of ergodic literature. The term ergodic, derived from the

In a comparative analysis of Vladimir Nabokov's "Pale Fire" (1962) and Mark Z. Danielewski's "House of Leaves" (2000), common aesthetic values and principles of content assist in establishing them as manifestations of ergodic literature. The term ergodic, derived from the Greek terms for "work" and "path" was defined in Espen J. Aarseth's literature theory book Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. Using Aarseth's theories about non-conventional novels, the unique similarities in specific postmodern novels creates a new classification and genre for novels that employ unique aesthetics and visual elements to recreate the act of reading into an experience that cannot be imitated by new age media.

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2013-05

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Global Commodification in Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood

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In this study, the first two novels of Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam Trilogy are discussed in their global context as social commentary on the current system of global economics. The study focuses on the novels' depiction of the commodification of women's bodies and the bodies of animals as consumable products.

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2013-05

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Reading and Writing Military Science Fiction

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Discusses the reading experience and writing strategies in relation to four prominent novels from the genre

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2013-05

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

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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

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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2016

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Volatile perceptions: the power of the public sphere to reshape science

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This thesis examines the role of the media and popular culture in defining the shape and scope of what we think of today as "science." As a source of cognitive authority the scientific establishment is virtually beyond dispute. The intellectual

This thesis examines the role of the media and popular culture in defining the shape and scope of what we think of today as "science." As a source of cognitive authority the scientific establishment is virtually beyond dispute. The intellectual clout of science seemingly elevates it to a position outside the influence of the general population. Yet in reality the emergence and evolution of the public sphere, including popular culture, has had a profound impact on the definition and application of science. What science is and how it relates to the life of the ordinary person are hardly static concepts; the public perception of science has been molding its boundaries since at least the 18th century. During the Enlightenment "natural philosophy" was broadly accessible and integrated nicely with other forms of knowledge. As the years passed into the 19th century, however, science became increasingly professionalized and distinct, until the "Two Cultures" had fully developed. The established scientific institution distanced itself from the nonscientific community, leaving the task of communicating scientific knowledge to various popularizers, who typically operated through the media and often used the mantle of science to further their own social or political agendas. Such isolation from orthodox science forced the public to create an alternate form of science for popular consumption, a form consisting mainly of decontextualized facts, often used in contrast to other forms of thought (i.e. religion, art, or pseudoscience). However, with the recent advent of "Web 2.0" and the increasing prominence of convergence culture, the role of the public sphere is undergoing a dramatic revolution. Concepts such as "collective intelligence" are changing consumers of information into simultaneous producers, establishing vast peer networks of collaboration and enabling the public to bypass traditional sources of authority. This new hypermobility of information and empowerment of the public sphere are just now beginning to break down science's monolithic status. In many ways, it seems, we are entering a new Enlightenment.

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2012

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From indeterminacy to acknowledgment: topoi of lesbianism in transatlantic fiction by women, 1925 to 1936

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This project will attempt to supplement the current registry of lesbian inquiry in literature by exploring a very specific topos important to the Modern era: woman and her intellect. Under this umbrella, the project will perform two tasks: First, it

This project will attempt to supplement the current registry of lesbian inquiry in literature by exploring a very specific topos important to the Modern era: woman and her intellect. Under this umbrella, the project will perform two tasks: First, it will argue that the Modern turn that accentuates what I call negative valence mimesis is a moment of change that enables the general public to perceive lesbianism in representations of women that before, perhaps, remained unacknowledged. And, second, that the intersection of thought and resistance to heteronormative structures, such as heterosexual desire/sex, childbirth, marriage, religion, feminine performance, generate topoi of lesbianism that lesbian studies should continuously critique in order to index the myriad and creative ways through which fictional representations of women have evaded their proper roles in society. The two tasks above will be performed amidst the backdrop of a crucial moment in history in which lesbianism jumped from fiction to fact through the publication and obscenity trial of Radclyffe Hall's novel, The Well of Loneliness. Deconstructive feminist and queer inquiry of under-researched novels by women from the UK and the US written within the decade surrounding the trial reveals the possibilities of lesbianism in novels where the protagonists' investment in heteronormativity has remained unquestioned. In those texts where the protagonists have been questioned, the analysis of lesbianism will be delved into more deeply in order to illustrate new ways of reading these texts. I will focus on women writers who, as Terry Castle suggests, "both usurped and deepened the [lesbian] genre" with the arrival of the new century (Literature 29). It is my attempt to combat heteronormativity through a more positive approach. As Michael Warner asserts, "heteronormativity can be overcome only by actively imagining a necessarily and desirably queer world" (xvi). This is not to say this study will be all roses and no thorns; a desirably queer world is not about a wish for an utopia. For this project, it is about rigorously engaging in the lesbianism of literature while acknowledging how a lesbian reading, a reading for lesbianism, can continue to both expand and enrich the critical tradition of a text and the customary interpretation of various characters.

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2012