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Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority Commons

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The Limits Of The Representative Text: Women On The Margins In Rudolfo Anaya's "Bless Me, Ultima", Kayleigh Rhatigan 2017 Dickinson College

The Limits Of The Representative Text: Women On The Margins In Rudolfo Anaya's "Bless Me, Ultima", Kayleigh Rhatigan

Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality by Students (ROWGS)

Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima (1972) is lauded as a classic of Chican@ literature and widely used in secondary and higher education as a representative Chican@ text. However, the novel depicts its female characters stereotypically and denies them agency and voice. The novel’s centering of masculinity reveals the problematic nature of curricula that use Ultima to represent all of Chican@ literature and culture. I read Ultima through a feminist lens and apply Jodi Melamed’s 2011 book Represent and Destroy to connect Ultima to the canon wars of the 1980s and issues of representation. Based on teaching guides ...


Cross Crossings Cautiously: Uses Of African American Vernacular English In American Literature, Emily Crnkovich 2017 Macalester College

Cross Crossings Cautiously: Uses Of African American Vernacular English In American Literature, Emily Crnkovich

English Honors Projects

This project uses sociolinguistics to theorize the use of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) in literature across three time periods: the Antebellum era, the post-bellum/Reconstruction era, and the Harlem Renaissance. Different dialects of English encode different power structures, and in order to interrogate those power structures I track how white and black authors represent the language of African American characters on the page and how audiences interpret that language. I find that African American authors tend to embrace the variability and diversity of natural language better than their white counterparts, whose use of literary dialect often falls into essentialist ...


To Kill A Mockingbird, The Help, And The Regendering Of The White Savior, Brett Seekford 2017 James Madison University

To Kill A Mockingbird, The Help, And The Regendering Of The White Savior, Brett Seekford

James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal (JMURJ)

Filmmakers continue to use the “White Savior “ archetype to construct racialized messages in the post-Civil Rights era. These protagonists, who resolutely defend the rights of African Americans, ultimately focalize whiteness and marginalize black characters and voices. Though a white savior features prominently in both To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) and The Help (2011), The Help’s regendering of the archetype invites viewers to imagine a world in which a white savior is no longer necessary. The Help’s update on the white savior trope from Atticus Finch to Skeeter Phelan allows for deeper development of black characters and a different ...


Life In Two Worlds: Autobiography Tradition In Native Women Writers' Literature, Ekaterina Kupidonova 2017 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Life In Two Worlds: Autobiography Tradition In Native Women Writers' Literature, Ekaterina Kupidonova

Dissertations, Theses, and Student Research: Department of English

My thesis project is a four-section paper exploring the topic of belonging and assimilation in the works of four indigenous women writers. Each section focuses on the autobiographical elements in the pieces of fiction or non-fiction of each author.

The first two sections are dedicated to the writers of the first half of the twentieth century—Zitkala-Ša (born Getrude Simmons; Dakota) and Pauline Johnson (Canadian Mohawk). Both were among the first female Native writers to appear visibly on the literary scene and to voice the problematic issues of living in “two worlds”—white and traditional Native American. The analyzed texts ...


Reimagining Movements: Towards A Queer Ecology And Trans/Black Feminism, Gabriel Benavente 2017 Florida International University

Reimagining Movements: Towards A Queer Ecology And Trans/Black Feminism, Gabriel Benavente

FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This thesis seeks to bridge feminist and environmental justice movements through the literature of black women writers. These writers create an archive that contribute towards the liberation of queer, black, and transgender peoples.

In the novel Parable of the Talents, Octavia Butler constructs a world that highlights the pervasive effects of climate change. As climate change expedites poverty, Americans begin to blame others, such as queer people, for the destruction of their country. Butler depicts the dangers of fundamentalism as a response to climate change, highlighting an imperative for a movement that does not romanticize the environment as heteronormative, but ...


Border Crossings And Transnational Movements In Sandra Cisneros’ Spatial Narratives Offer Alternatives To Dominant Discourse, Raquel D. Vallecillo 2017 Florida International University

Border Crossings And Transnational Movements In Sandra Cisneros’ Spatial Narratives Offer Alternatives To Dominant Discourse, Raquel D. Vallecillo

FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations

My study aims to reveal how ideologies, the way we perceive our world, what we believe, and our value judgments inextricably linked to a dominant discourse, have real and material consequences. In addition to explicating how these ideologies stem from a Western philosophical tradition, this thesis examines this thought-system alongside selections from Sandra Cisneros’ Woman Hollering Creek and Caramelo or Puro Cuento. My project reveals how Cisneros’ spatial narratives challenge ideologies concerning the border separating the United States and Mexico, which proves significant as the project of decolonization and understanding of identity formation is fundamentally tied to these geographical spaces ...


Infinite Citizen Of The Shaking Tent By Liz Howard, David Carruthers 2017 Queen's University - Kingston, Ontario

Infinite Citizen Of The Shaking Tent By Liz Howard, David Carruthers

The Goose

Review of Liz Howard's Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent.


Rotten Bananas, Hip Hop Heads, And The American Individual: Teaching Eddie Huang’S Memoir Fresh Off The Boat And Its Tropes Of Literacy, Wilson C. Chen 2017 Benedictine University

Rotten Bananas, Hip Hop Heads, And The American Individual: Teaching Eddie Huang’S Memoir Fresh Off The Boat And Its Tropes Of Literacy, Wilson C. Chen

Asian American Literature: Discourses & Pedagogies

This essay focuses on Fresh Off the Boat as an eminently teachable coming-of-age story, provides critical contexts and directions for teaching this ideologically suggestive text, and sets forth the interpretive argument that the structures and themes of the memoir are fundamentally shaped by the literacy narrative at its core. As such, the text enters into conversation with other literacy narratives that have become so foundational in the teaching of multiethnic literature in the U.S. Moreover, Huang’s tropes of literacy draw from enduring, mythified Americanist discourses that are suggestive of a masculine individualism that, while not unique, is recognizable ...


Walking And Wandering: Reconstructing Diasporic Subjectivity In T. C. Huo's Land Of Smiles And Lê Thi Diem Thúy’S The Gangster We Are All Looking For, Brian G. Chen 2017 Westfield State University

Walking And Wandering: Reconstructing Diasporic Subjectivity In T. C. Huo's Land Of Smiles And Lê Thi Diem Thúy’S The Gangster We Are All Looking For, Brian G. Chen

Asian American Literature: Discourses & Pedagogies

Diaspora has often been defined as the condition of dispersal and displacement in which its members express minimal connections with their host country and always look to return to their ancestral homelands. However, from the literary representations in T. C. Huo’s Land of Smiles and Lê Thi Diem Thúy’s The Gangster We Are All Looking For, it is clear that members of the Southeast Asian diaspora determine to set root in their host country and refuse to be treated as temporary guests. This determination is warranted by their desire to redefine the contentious idea of home beyond cultural ...


Iowa Settlers & Chief Che-Neuse's Band: Familial Exchanges, Meskwaki Exiles, & The Importance Of Storytelling, Keegan Gormally 2017 University of Iowa

Iowa Settlers & Chief Che-Neuse's Band: Familial Exchanges, Meskwaki Exiles, & The Importance Of Storytelling, Keegan Gormally

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

The second half of the 19th century was a time of dramatic change for both Native Americans and white settlers in Iowa. Although federal land cessions forced most indigenous peoples out of Iowa, unassimilated, “non-violent” bands remained and regularly contacted settlers through the early 20th century. These interactions emerged from the enforcement of land cessions via military forts along with fundamental differences between each group’s cultural traditions and understanding of land ownership. During an interview on her hundredth birthday in 1980, my great-grandmother Josephine Kelly recalled childhood visits from Native Americans on her family’s farm near ...


Together We’Ll Make Magic: Exploring The Relationship Between Empathy And Literature Using Ruth Ozeki’S “A Tale For The Time Being”, Janet Lindsay DiNozzi-Houser 2017 Bard College

Together We’Ll Make Magic: Exploring The Relationship Between Empathy And Literature Using Ruth Ozeki’S “A Tale For The Time Being”, Janet Lindsay Dinozzi-Houser

Senior Projects Spring 2017

My project is devoted to untangling the often-misunderstood and misapplied subject of empathy, particularly as it relates to the reading process. I begin with a brief background of the term’s history and the debate surrounding its use by researchers in the fields of both Psychology and Philosophy of Mind. I then apply this critical understanding of a commonly invoked term to a close reading of contemporary novel A Tale for The Time Being by Japanese-American novelist Ruth Ozeki. Dedicated primarily to the fictional story of Nao Yasutani, a teenage girl struggling with her recent move back to Japan after ...


Richard Wright's And Chester Himes's Treatment Of The Concept Of Emerging Black Masculinity In The 20th Century, Peter M. Brown 2017 CUNY City College

Richard Wright's And Chester Himes's Treatment Of The Concept Of Emerging Black Masculinity In The 20th Century, Peter M. Brown

Dissertations and Theses

No abstract provided.


The Ecocritical Carnivalesque Of Mason & Dixon: Thomas Pynchon's Environmental Vision, Theodor Jack Hamstra 2017 University of Colorado Boulder

The Ecocritical Carnivalesque Of Mason & Dixon: Thomas Pynchon's Environmental Vision, Theodor Jack Hamstra

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Among American novelists since 1945, Thomas Pynchon ranks as one of the most accomplished, with arguably the most fully realized and profound visions of Postmodernity. Therefore, his absence from the field of Ecocriticism is alarming. The aim of my thesis is to demonstrate that Pynchon’s 1997 novel Mason & Dixon ought to be considered as an essential text of American environmental writing. My thesis triangulates the environmental vision of Mason & Dixon by highlighting its affinity with environmental literature on three overlapping levels: the specter of the ancient, the spectacle of the new during the Enlightenment setting of the novel, and ...


The Sociocultural Perception Of The African American Woman's Bodily Aesthetics: Investigated In The Works Venus, God Don't Like Ugly, And Their Eyes Were Watching God, Andrene Loiten 2017 University of Central Florida

The Sociocultural Perception Of The African American Woman's Bodily Aesthetics: Investigated In The Works Venus, God Don't Like Ugly, And Their Eyes Were Watching God, Andrene Loiten

Honors Undergraduate Theses

Despite contemporary movements towards tolerance and appreciation of differing cultural entities within the United States, the normative standard of beauty serves as a pinnacle of division amongst women. The normative standard of beauty—implemented by the dominant race within the States—encourages discrimination in regards to the perception of African American female beauty. Although information exists identifying the original influence pertaining to the negative perception of African American female beauty, the reason for its continued perpetuation within the African American community remains ill defined. Effects of this standard amongst African Americans are psychological and physiological. The destruction of self-image and ...


Texts And Subtexts In Performing Blackness: Vernacular Masking In Key And Peele As A Lens For Viewing Paul Laurence Dunbar’S Musical Comedy, Spencer Kuchle 2017 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Texts And Subtexts In Performing Blackness: Vernacular Masking In Key And Peele As A Lens For Viewing Paul Laurence Dunbar’S Musical Comedy, Spencer Kuchle

Doctoral Dissertations

When Kegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele’s sketch-comedy show Key & Peele took Comedy Central by storm in 2012, the perceived need by the comedians to “adjust their blackness” to gain social recognition became a recurring theme. Throughout their comedic performances, language becomes a proxy for identity, and Key and Peele’s parodic employment of African American Vernacular English (AAVE) and linguistic variation serves to challenge notions of black authenticity, while emphasizing the absurdity of racial essentialism.

An embodiment of Jonathan Rossing’s concept of emancipatory racial humor, Key and Peele’s comedy creates nonthreatening spaces that facilitate the contestation ...


Moving Against Clothespins:The Poli(Poe)Tics Of Embodiment In The Poetry Of Miriam Alves And Audre Lorde, Flávia Santos de Araújo 2017 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Moving Against Clothespins:The Poli(Poe)Tics Of Embodiment In The Poetry Of Miriam Alves And Audre Lorde, Flávia Santos De Araújo

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation examines literary representations of the black female body in selected poetry by U.S. African American writer Audre Lorde and Afro-Brazilian writer Miriam Alves, focusing on how their literary projects construct and defy notions of black womanhood and black female sexualities in dialogue with national narratives and contexts. Within an historical, intersectional and transnational theoretical framework, this study analyses how the racial, gender and sexual politics of representation are articulated and negotiated within and outside the political and literary movements in the U.S. and Brazil in the 1970s and 1980s. As a theoretical framework, this research elaborates ...


“The Blackness Of Blackness”: Meta-Black Identity In 20th/21st Century African American Culture, Casey Hayman 2017 University of Massachusetts Amherst

“The Blackness Of Blackness”: Meta-Black Identity In 20th/21st Century African American Culture, Casey Hayman

Doctoral Dissertations

The central claim in this dissertation is that much contemporary African American cultural expression would be better conceptualized not as “post-black,” as some would have it, but as what I call “meta-black.” I use the preface “meta-” because while this contemporary black identity also resists sometimes constrictive conceptions of “authentic” black identity from within the African American community, I diverge from theorists of “post-blackness” in observing the ways that, as Nicole Fleetwood observes, blackness necessarily “circulates” within a technologically-driven mediascape, and these postmodern black subjects work within and against the constraints of this aural-visual regime of blackness in order to ...


Ofengenden, Ari Curriculum Vitae, Ari Ofengenden 2017 Brandeis University

Ofengenden, Ari Curriculum Vitae, Ari Ofengenden

CLCWeb Library

No abstract provided.


Re-Calling The Past: Poetry As Preservation Of Black Female Histories, Rachel Miller-Haughton 2017 Scripps College

Re-Calling The Past: Poetry As Preservation Of Black Female Histories, Rachel Miller-Haughton

Scripps Senior Theses

This paper discusses the poetry of Audre Lorde and Natasha Trethewey, and the ways in which they bring to attention the often-silenced histories of African American females. Through close readings of Lorde’s poems “Call” and “Coal,” and Trethewey’s “Three Photographs,” these histories are brought to the present with the framework of the words “call” and “re-call.” The paper explores the ways in which Lorde creates a new mythology for understanding her identity as “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” in her innovative, intersectional feminist poetry. This is used as the framework for understanding modern poets like Trethewey, whose identity ...


Shakespeare And Black Masculinity In Antebellum America: Slave Revolts And Construction Of Revolutionary Blackness, Elisabeth Mayer 2017 Scripps College

Shakespeare And Black Masculinity In Antebellum America: Slave Revolts And Construction Of Revolutionary Blackness, Elisabeth Mayer

Scripps Senior Theses

This thesis explores how Shakespeare was used by Antebellum American writers to frame slave revolts as either criminal or revolutionary. By specifically addressing The Confessions of Nat Turner by Thomas R. Gray and "The Heroic Slave" by Frederick Douglass, this paper looks at the way invocations of Shakespeare framed depictions of black violence. At a moment when what it means to be American was questioned, American writers like Gray and Douglass turned to Shakespeare and the British roots of the English language in order to structure their respective arguments. In doing so, these texts illuminate how transatlantic identity still permeated ...


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