Matching Items (25)

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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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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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The usefulness of waste: filth and waste in Charles Dickens' Our mutual friend and George Gissing's The nether world

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Victorian London was often confronted with the filth and waste that was the result of urban civilization. The Victorians saw themselves as a race of humanity above the savage tribes. While steps were taken to repress these natural and instinctual

Victorian London was often confronted with the filth and waste that was the result of urban civilization. The Victorians saw themselves as a race of humanity above the savage tribes. While steps were taken to repress these natural and instinctual products of humanity, human waste and filth were powerfully incorporated in the fictional writings of Charles Dickens and George Gissing. I argue that this incorporation of filth and waste in both OUR MUTUAL FRIEND and THE NETHER WORLD serves as a metaphorical statement on the living conditions of the Victorian lower class. Using the urban travelogues of Dickens and Gissing's contemporaries, along with the analysis on waste and filth done by Sigmund Freud and Julia Kristeva, I argue that the interpretation of waste by Dickens and Gissing define a permeable boundary between London's residuum and the rest of urban society. Oftentimes, the definition of waste and filth become entangled with the definition of value and money. While Dickens chooses to focus on an optimistic outcome of the use value of waste; Gissing sees no hopeful future for the inhabitants of London's slums. I argue that Dickens, throughout his novel, showcases a modernistic use value for the waste of civilization through the recyclable qualities of waste. Gissing, in opposition to Dickens' optimism, sees a more fatalistic future for civilization. Both novels are able to provide a blueprint for the future of urban society, by establishing that filth and waste is a unifying element of civilization, and by establishing the important role that filth can play within the value system of Victorian London.

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2012

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Drink of me, and you shall have eternal life: an analysis of Lord Byron's The Giaour and the Greek folkloric vampire

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This paper contains an examination of the impact of the Vampire Hysteria in Europe during the 1700’s on Lord Byron's “The Giaour.” Byron traveled to the continent in 1809 and wrote the poems that came to be known as

This paper contains an examination of the impact of the Vampire Hysteria in Europe during the 1700’s on Lord Byron's “The Giaour.” Byron traveled to the continent in 1809 and wrote the poems that came to be known as his Oriental Romances after overhearing what would become “The Giaour ” in “ one of the many coffee-houses that abound in the Levant.” The main character, the Giaour, has characteristics typical of the Greek vampire, called vrykolakas. The vamping of characters, the cyclic imagery, and the juxtaposition of life and death as it is expressed within the poem are analyzed in comparison to vampiric folklore, especially that of Greece.

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2010

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Romantic cyber-engagement: three digital humanities projects in romanticism

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"Romantic Cyber-Engagement" offers a new type of dissertation organized around three projects that combine the core values of the Digital Humanities with the hypertext tradition of scholarly pursuits in the field of Romanticism. The first of the three Digital Humanities

"Romantic Cyber-Engagement" offers a new type of dissertation organized around three projects that combine the core values of the Digital Humanities with the hypertext tradition of scholarly pursuits in the field of Romanticism. The first of the three Digital Humanities contributions is to the profession. "A Resource for the Future: The ICR Template and Template Guide" articulates a template for the construction and operation of an advanced conference in Romantic studies. This part of the project includes the conference web site template and guide, which is publicly available to all interested organizations; the template guide includes instructions, tutorials, and advice to govern modification of the template for easier adaptation for future conferences. The second project, "Collaborative Literature Projects in the Digital Age: The Frankenstein Project" is a functional pedagogical example of one way to incorporate Digital Humanities praxis as an interactive part of a college course. This part of the dissertation explains the "Frankenstein Project," a web site that I created for an undergraduate critical theory course where the students contributed various critical approaches for sections of the novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The final project, "'[W]hat they half-create, / And what perceive': The Creation of a Hypertext Scholarly Edition of 'Tintern Abbey;'" is a critical approaches section in which I created an interactive web site that focused on the primary work, "Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey: On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798." This advanced, multimodal site allows viewers to examine various critical approaches to each section of the primary work, and the viewer/reader can interactively engage the text in dialogue by contributing their own interpretation or critical approach. In addition to the three products and analysis generated from this dissertation, the project as a whole offers an initial Digital Humanities model for future dissertations in discipline of English Literature.

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2013