Matching Items (8)

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Will There Also Be Singing?: An Examination of “This is America” in Relation to Modern Apocalyptic Media

Description

Bertolt Brecht, a noted East German poet and playwright, wrote in his poetry collection, Svendborg Gedichte (translated as Svendborg Poems), a question and answer which resonated not only in his

Bertolt Brecht, a noted East German poet and playwright, wrote in his poetry collection, Svendborg Gedichte (translated as Svendborg Poems), a question and answer which resonated not only in his own time, but throughout time: “In the dark times/Will there also be singing? /Yes, there will also be singing. /About the dark times” (Brecht). When Brecht wrote this poem, he was writing about the Nazi Germany which he had been exiled from, but a similar type of darkness has also spilled into today’s time period in forms including but not limited to political division, economic disparity, and environmental distress. At times, this can be understood as being similar to an apocalypse, or the time period which can be assumed as being world-ending. While the truly apocalyptic nature of today is debatable, the reporting style around these events has twisted this time period to be inarguably dark.
However, just as Brecht says, there is still singing.
Since the 2016 election, news media has become nothing if not more apocalyptic in reporting style. As a result, other forms of media, such as songs, literature, and artwork, have been reacting in two distinct modes: first, through a realism in describing the pain of those going through the events, and second, through a blind romanticism of the truth.
In this essay, I describe the origin of apocalyptic rhetoric, and the way that this type of rhetoric has unfolded throughout a few key moments of human history. From there, I move into a discussion of song as one form of a reaction to this, making sure to keep intact the dichotomous lines as described earlier. As an emblem of this reaction in the post-2016 era, I then analyze modern apocalyptic thought, and as an example of this reaction, I analyze the song “This is America” by Childish Gambino. I then look towards the future and theorize as to what type of singing will come from future dark times.

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Date Created
  • 2020-12

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Levels of Escape, Belief in a Just World, and Victim Blame: Contributing variables of blame attributions in kidnapping crimes

Description

A between-subjects online survey was conducted to explore the extent to which female victims of kidnapping crimes are blamed for the crimes committed against them and why. Scenarios involving victims

A between-subjects online survey was conducted to explore the extent to which female victims of kidnapping crimes are blamed for the crimes committed against them and why. Scenarios involving victims aged 8 years old and 30 years old were constructed using various routes of escape. Routes of escape included a control condition in which it was not clear whether or not the victim would have escaped given the opportunity, a condition in which the victim had a clear opportunity to escape and took it, a condition in which the victim had a clear opportunity to escape and chose not to take it, and a condition in which the victim did not have an opportunity to escape. The results of the study demonstrated that the 30-year old kidnapping victim was consistently blamed more than the 8-year old victim. These victim blame measurements were exacerbated when the participant maintains a high belief in a fair and just world. A second study was constructed to determine if the victim's actions preceding the kidnapping influence victim blame attributions, and to determine if providing additional details on the victim's mindset or intentions to escape would affect the amount of blame attributed.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Justified Violence: Modernizing Themes of Virtue from “The Friar’s Tale” and “Little Red Riding Hood”

Description

Although Charles Perrault’s “Little Red Riding Hood” was written three centuries after Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Friar’s Tale,” the stories share both similar villains and explicit morals that condemn the tales’

Although Charles Perrault’s “Little Red Riding Hood” was written three centuries after Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Friar’s Tale,” the stories share both similar villains and explicit morals that condemn the tales’ victims rather than the antagonists. In an essay analyzing these works, I find that Chaucer and Perrault moralize their villains' predation as retribution for the protagonist’s supposed wrongdoings. In order to challenge and expand on these themes, I wrote a novella about Noelle Wei, a thirteen-year-old girl, who is attacked but left alive by a beast known for killing only dangerous criminals. After the beast promises to return, Noelle and her community must reckon with his unspoken accusation.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Looking for the Female Gaze: The Search for a Feminine Practice of Looking

Description

In today’s economy, advertisers understand that sex sells. The foundations of this concept, however, are influenced by patriarchal expectations that women are first and foremost sexual objects for men. Women

In today’s economy, advertisers understand that sex sells. The foundations of this concept, however, are influenced by patriarchal expectations that women are first and foremost sexual objects for men. Women are sold beauty and demeanor expectations for them to utilize when making themselves attractive for men and men are sold the idea of beautiful, docile women. This dynamic perpetuates strict definitions of acceptable gender displays and reinforces socially permitted gendered behavior. As a society in the 21st century, we understand the damage of sexist ideals, but where we fall short is in the monitoring of channels that perpetuate and maintain those stereotypes and how affected the public really is by the male gaze, and lack of a female gaze, in media. In this paper, I search for a female gaze, but in doing so recognize the inequalities inherent in yet another gendered practice of looking and instead steer the conversation towards personalized perspectives informed by an understanding of the dominant practice of looking and its inverse.

The primary perspective from which people are depicted in media today is shaped by the male gaze. The male gaze is comprised of patriarchal ideals and relies on the understanding that the spectator or viewer is a standard human being, which heteronormativity tells us is a man. From this perspective, the scope of visual representations of men and women in media has been molded after the hierarchized gender displays within which masculinity has primacy over femininity. By presenting a limited spectrum of behavior acceptable for men and women, the media hegemonically manipulates the social constructs of gender and gendered behavior across all levels of society.

This honors thesis applies semiotic and feminist methodologies to engage visual forms of media through art, film, and social media to challenge the social constructs of gender perpetuated and reinforced by dated stereotypes of gender and gendered behavior. First, the theoretical foundation will provide a framework for semiotic and feminist analysis of visual representations of gender in media. Then, I will present data representing the real-world impact that this social construction of gender has on adolescents in America using The State of Gender Equality for U.S. Adolescents, published by Plan International Inc. I will then bring together the explicated methodologies and evidential data alongside my own experiences as a female consumer of visual media to reveal alternative practices of looking that do not revolve around patriarchal norms, looking for a female gaze. In doing so, I hope to present recourse in the face of persistent use of sexist imagery across all levels of our culture and every medium of visual self-expression by providing tools that can be used to interrogate gendered perceptions and inform self-examination in pursuit of a feminist practice of looking.

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Date Created
  • 2020-05

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VERSING INHERITANCE: THEORY, POETRY, POLITICS

Description

Theory has often been historically characterized as lacking pragmatisms and action necessary for social change. Thus, as this challenge between pragmatists and theorists continues to exist, this project attempts to

Theory has often been historically characterized as lacking pragmatisms and action necessary for social change. Thus, as this challenge between pragmatists and theorists continues to exist, this project attempts to disclose a manner in which we may alter this conflict by reinterpreting theory, poetry, and philosophy as active political moments of resistance that fundamentally change our ethical relationship with language and consequently to others. This thesis recognizes that dire political situations of social injustice require a more materialistic and sociological analysis in order to achieve structural reform for marginalized groups. However, this work attempts to show how an ethical relationship with theory, poetry, and philosophy is requisite to cultural and material change, as these meditative ways of thinking hold a stake in the overall discussion of social progress as well.

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Date Created
  • 2014-12

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A Song of Richard III and Feudalist Values

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This paper focuses on feudalist structure and values within this system in George R. R. Martin's fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire and Shakespeare's play King Richard

This paper focuses on feudalist structure and values within this system in George R. R. Martin's fantasy novel series A Song of Ice and Fire and Shakespeare's play King Richard the Third. The paper is structured into three arguments that focus on different characters from each work. The first argument is focused on Tyrion Lannister and Richard III's deformity, and how they violate feudalist values. This argument ultimately comes to the discussion of whether or not these characters are monstrous and by what values. The second argument is focused on Daenerys Targaryen and Margaret, discussing why both authors give these women a supernatural power. The authors give women these powers because they believe that women should have power. Martin argues that women need to remake the structure, while Shakespeare believes women can change their place in the structure through collective action. The last argument focuses on Petyr Baelish and Richard III, and how they both represent a chaos attacking feudalism. Petyr is a chaos that comes outside the system, exploiting the values of the system, while Richard is a chaos within the system because he violates feudal values, while trying to hold positions where he needs to embody feudalist value. The authors come to different conclusions of what is trying to take down feudalist structure and how this could be fixed. Martin finds feudalism cannot be fixed and that other systems are not much better because they still create violence. Shakespeare comes to the conclusion that feudalism cannot be fixed because people continue to violate its values, so a new system must be put in place.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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The post-post-modernism of Wallace, Franzen, Lin and Díaz

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This essay examines four novels as responses to the themes and philosophical attitudes set by David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest: Wallace's own unfinished novel, The Pale King; Jonathan Franzen's Freedom;

This essay examines four novels as responses to the themes and philosophical attitudes set by David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest: Wallace's own unfinished novel, The Pale King; Jonathan Franzen's Freedom; Tao Lin's Taipei; and Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. The authors listed, all writing in the 21st century, are part of what can be provisionally described as a "post-postmodern" reaction to the postmodern literature of America in the latter half of the 20th century.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Exploring Protest Poetry

Description

Throughout every liberation movement in America’s history, poetry has been an undeniably powerful act of resistance. Even today, protest poetry is instrumental to countless resistance movements because it captures attention,

Throughout every liberation movement in America’s history, poetry has been an undeniably powerful act of resistance. Even today, protest poetry is instrumental to countless resistance movements because it captures attention, evokes emotion, and demands social progress. My project is divided into two parts. The first part is made up of five journals. These journals are informal written responses that conversate with different texts and analyze specific images within specific passages. My exploration of protest poetry focuses on five prominent poets of the last century: Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Gloria Anzaldúa, Camille T. Dungy, and Claudia Rankine. The second part of this project is my contribution to protest poetry. For my collection, I crafted ten poems in which I resist a range of issues that have to do with class, gender, and ethnicity. My protest poetry is also an examination of what it means to be human, particularly in modern day America.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05