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(In)Human Anatomies: Constructions Of Whiteness And Otherness In The Fiction Of H.P. Lovecraft, Katherine Avery May 2019

(In)Human Anatomies: Constructions Of Whiteness And Otherness In The Fiction Of H.P. Lovecraft, Katherine Avery

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft - one of the most significant horror writers of the twentieth century, and an acknowledged white supremacist - racialized configurations Otherness are used to construct and inspire horror. At the same time, these racist and racializing narratives function to destabilize the privileged category whiteness, transgressing its boundaries, revealing its vulnerabilities, and disrupting its coherent self-construction.


From Pain To Pillar: History And Identity Politics Of Asian-American Students And Youth In The 21st Century And Cultural Self Development Theory, Noah Kim Apr 2019

From Pain To Pillar: History And Identity Politics Of Asian-American Students And Youth In The 21st Century And Cultural Self Development Theory, Noah Kim

Undergraduate Honors Theses

With the Asian-American population growing at exponential rates, Asian-Americans are forced to face the reality of their place in society. As this processing of identity continues, more become passionate in their search, with some becoming empowered, others seek representation. But in the end, all the interviewees and those in my research sought a collective level movement. Though people were from all different walks to life, there was a sense of commonality and a recognition of the reality of the situation. While people recognized that the Asian-American identity was a socially constructed, there is also a strong sense of commonality that ...


"The Celebrated Madame Campan": Educating Republican Mothers À La Française In Nineteenth-Century America, Lydia Heaton Apr 2019

"The Celebrated Madame Campan": Educating Republican Mothers À La Française In Nineteenth-Century America, Lydia Heaton

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Marie Antoinette’s former lady-in-waiting and founder of an internationally acclaimed boarding school for girls, Madame Campan (1752-1822) taught both Napoleon Bonaparte’s stepdaughter and President James Monroe’s eldest daughter. She also published a popular memoir of Marie Antoinette’s life and several educational tracts. While Campan has been largely forgotten today, she is more closely connected to the development of American ideas about female education and republican motherhood than has yet been represented in the historiographical record. The French headmistress carefully crafted an educational system that proved to be influential on the development of American institutional education for ...


Urban Renewal In The Colonial Capital: Contextualizing The Williamsburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority, Zach Meredith Apr 2019

Urban Renewal In The Colonial Capital: Contextualizing The Williamsburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority, Zach Meredith

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In the fifty years since its activation in 1969, the Williamsburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority (WRHA) has shaped the Williamsburg landscape through projects such as the redevelopment of the Triangle Block, the development of Crispus Attucks Place and Strawberry Plains neighborhoods, and the development of Williamsburg's four public housing communities. This thesis provides a critical narrative of the WRHA that contextualizes the Authority's actions within a broader history of how race and class have informed the development of the Williamsburg area over time. Additionally, this thesis traces the rise of professional city planning in Williamsburg—largely serving the interests ...


An Incongruous Present: Identifying The Absurd Aesthetic In William Faulkner’S "Requiem For A Nun" (1951), Blake Hani Apr 2019

An Incongruous Present: Identifying The Absurd Aesthetic In William Faulkner’S "Requiem For A Nun" (1951), Blake Hani

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This thesis examines the absurd aesthetic present in William Faulkner’s Requiem for a Nun (1951), in order to both re-open an otherwise disregarded text for more fruitful interpretations, as well as consider what constitutes a “successful” or “failed” text. By applying Albert Camus’s theories of the absurd developed in The Myth of Sisyphus (1942) and The Rebel (1951), a sense of logic or intention is revealed in Requiem for a Nun’s abrasive structural disjointedness and narrative incoherence. This absurd logic presents a subversion of the standards of successful narratives, as the text appears to self-reflectively meditate on ...


Taking It To The Streets: Race, Space, And Early D.C. Punk, Ashleigh Mae Williams Oct 2018

Taking It To The Streets: Race, Space, And Early D.C. Punk, Ashleigh Mae Williams

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This work examines race and class in early Washington, D.C. punk from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. It is my contention that written punk memoirs rarely give a contextual look at each movement. From rose-colored memoirs, many inside or outside the punk community view the movements as genuine rebellions against mainstream American music and values. It is my view that subversive movements do not emerge completely free from institutional oppression. The same is true with punk. to examine punk's beginnings, I analyze punk movements in the United Kingdom and Los Angeles before turning to a detailed ...


Of Mammies, Minstrels, And Machines: Movement-Image Automaticity And The Impossible Conditions Of Black Humanity, Joseph Frank Lawless Oct 2018

Of Mammies, Minstrels, And Machines: Movement-Image Automaticity And The Impossible Conditions Of Black Humanity, Joseph Frank Lawless

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This thesis argues that the GIF, as an underexplored analytical vertex within the broader matrix of media ecologies, should be understood as a generative nodal point in the American system of racialized violence. Thought in relation to its medium specificity, the GIF's materiality, particularly its capacity for infinite looping, is critically interrogated for its potential to amplify the circuitry of dominating racialization that felicitously condition the GIF's circulation. I open my argument with focus on a subset of the GIF genre known as the reaction GIF, which, in its frequently racialized form, is situated within the interconnected genealogies ...


The Prehistory Of The Hollywood Eastern Genre, John Eisele Oct 2018

The Prehistory Of The Hollywood Eastern Genre, John Eisele

Arts & Sciences Articles

No abstract provided.


The Lonely Ones: Selfhood And Society In Harry Stack Sullivan's Psychiatric Thought, Taylor S. Stephens Jul 2018

The Lonely Ones: Selfhood And Society In Harry Stack Sullivan's Psychiatric Thought, Taylor S. Stephens

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This thesis examines the contributions of psychiatrist Harry Stack Sullivan (1892-1949) to an ongoing conversation on the self and society in the United States, from classical liberal political theory to the mid-twentieth century social sciences. Existing literature overlooks the 1940s as a divided period in American intellectual history. This project argues that an accurate presentation of the era demands the inclusion of thinkers who were excluded from mainstream institutions as a consequence of their training in 'professional' academic disciplines or social marginalization along the lines of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexuality. Careful examination of Sullivan's lectures, scholarly articles ...


"Glimmerings, Hints, And Secret Amazements": William Blake, Walt Whitman, And The Spiritual Incantations Of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl", Elijah Levine May 2018

"Glimmerings, Hints, And Secret Amazements": William Blake, Walt Whitman, And The Spiritual Incantations Of Allen Ginsberg's "Howl", Elijah Levine

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This essay dissects the links between Allen Ginsberg and two of his poetic predecessors, William Blake and Walt Whitman in order to elucidate a spiritual reading of his 1956 seminal poem “Howl.” Focusing on Ginsberg’s life between 1947 and 1952, portrayed through journals, biography, manuscripts, and interviews, salient connections emerge from which Ginsberg constructs a language to express his spirituality that is grounded in Blake’s and Whitman’s works. Throughout this period, highlighted by his 1948 hallucination of William Blake, Ginsberg constructs the parameters of his spirituality synthesizing literary touchstones with lived experience. “Howl,” as a result, is ...


“Terrible In Its Beauty, Terrible In Its Indifference”: Postcolonial Ecocriticism And Sally Mann’S Southern Landscapes, Laura Keller Jan 2018

“Terrible In Its Beauty, Terrible In Its Indifference”: Postcolonial Ecocriticism And Sally Mann’S Southern Landscapes, Laura Keller

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Sally Mann (1951- ) has spent forty years photographing scenes in the American South, including domestic scenes, landscapes, and portraits. Although scholars generally interpret her work as a reflection of the region’s history of violence and oppression, my research will consider her work through the lens of postcolonial ecocriticism. In her art and writing, Mann portrays the land as an indifferent witness to history, a force intertwined with humanity, lending matter for human lives and reclaiming it after death. However, she also describes the way the environment interferes with her the antiquated technology she uses, creating dramatic flaws that imbue ...


The New Woman Narrating The Histor(Ies) Of The Feminist Movement, Francesca Sawaya Dec 2017

The New Woman Narrating The Histor(Ies) Of The Feminist Movement, Francesca Sawaya

Arts & Sciences Book Chapters

To dip into the scholarship about the New Woman is to be puzzled by the extensive focus on and the strong disagreement about chronology. Why do some scholars offer such a wide range of years for the New Woman, and others such a narrow range? And why do the dates - whatever they may be - diverge so widely? What becomes clear is that date matter not because the New Woman can be easily periodized - after all, there are no legislative or political milestones that mark her entrance or exit from the public stage - but because she herself invoked, and thus still ...


Black Capes, White Spies: An Exploration Of Visual Black Identity, Evolving Heroism And 'Passing' In Marvel's Black Panther Comics And Mat Johnson's Graphic Novel, Incogengro, Ravynn K. Stringfield Nov 2017

Black Capes, White Spies: An Exploration Of Visual Black Identity, Evolving Heroism And 'Passing' In Marvel's Black Panther Comics And Mat Johnson's Graphic Novel, Incogengro, Ravynn K. Stringfield

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This thesis is a portfolio which contains two essays. The first essay, “Reclaiming Wakanda,” is a character biography of the Black Panther comic character from his inception in 1966 until 2016. The work historicizes and politicizes a character written as apolotical by his creators while also placing him firmly within a legacy of Black Power, Civil Rights and other Black freedom movements of the second half of the 20th century. The second essay, “Incogengro: The Creation and Destruction of Black Identity in the ‘Safety’ of Harlem” considers how images and representations race and racial violence are constructed in graphic novel ...


In The Moment Of Violence: Writing The History Of Postemancipation Terror, Hannah Rosen Nov 2017

In The Moment Of Violence: Writing The History Of Postemancipation Terror, Hannah Rosen

Arts & Sciences Book Chapters

This collection of eleven original essays interrogates the concept of freedom and recenters our understanding of the process of emancipation. Who defined freedom, and what did freedom mean to nineteenth-century African Americans, both during and after slavery? Did freedom just mean the absence of constraint and a widening of personal choice, or did it extend to the ballot box, to education, to equality of opportunity? In examining such questions, rather than defining every aspect of postemancipation life as a new form of freedom, these essays develop the work of scholars who are looking at how belonging to an empowered government ...


A Case Study In The Interdisciplinary: The Role Of Anthropology, Archaeology And History In Academia And Museums, Alexnadra A. Rosenberg May 2017

A Case Study In The Interdisciplinary: The Role Of Anthropology, Archaeology And History In Academia And Museums, Alexnadra A. Rosenberg

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This thesis will examine the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to anthropology, archaeology and history in both academic and museum settings. Using the “Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernon” exhibit as a case study, the necessity of teaching from an interdisciplinary perspective at an undergraduate level, if not before is stressed. Specific attention is given to the subfield of archaeology, the role of oral histories and descendant communities in creating museum exhibitions and the ways in which the museum presents a historical narrative about a complex and emotionally charged topic to visitors who arrive with diverse ...


Self-Made Freak: The Exceptionalism Of General Tom Thumb, The Celebrity Body, And The American Dream, Megan Sonner Apr 2017

Self-Made Freak: The Exceptionalism Of General Tom Thumb, The Celebrity Body, And The American Dream, Megan Sonner

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This essay seeks to explore bodily difference’s cultural significance at a time when the freak show took center stage in the theater of American amusement, while modern American capitalism took shape from the Antebellum era to the Gilded Age. Why did the wedding of two freak show performers enrapture the nation? In seeing and talking about dwarf freak show performer General Tom Thumb (born Charles Stratton), Americans interrogated disability’s entanglement with American cultural identity, national unity, and the evolving relationship between individual body and capitalist economy. Thumb’s wedding operates as a pivotal moment in which American celebrity ...


Fandom, Racism, And The Myth Of Diversity In The Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ashley S. Richardson Apr 2017

Fandom, Racism, And The Myth Of Diversity In The Marvel Cinematic Universe, Ashley S. Richardson

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently one of the most commercially successful entertainment brands in American popular culture, with a range of film franchises and television series under its banner. Although the brand maintains its popularity with various demographics, the casting choices in Doctor Strange (2017) generated controversy among Marvel fans and critics alike for excluding people of color or reducing them to villains and sidekicks. This thesis examines the online commentary surrounding the casting and marketing of Doctor Strange to evaluate how social media users on Reddit, Tumblr, and Twitter come to understand race and gender through the Marvel ...


Reading Bodies: Disability And American Literary History, 1789-1889, Amanda Stuckey Mar 2017

Reading Bodies: Disability And American Literary History, 1789-1889, Amanda Stuckey

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This dissertation brings the field of critical disability studies to bear on organizational paradigms of nineteenth-century American literature. “Reading Bodies” intervenes in these fields with the claim that the book in a variety of formats, publications, and circulations acts as a disciplinary tool that seeks to arrange physical and mental characteristics and capacities into the category of disability. This project moves beyond examining representations of disability to demonstrate that the same social, cultural, and political forces that generated literary movements and outpourings – such as nationalism, displacement of Native peoples, slavery, and state-sanctioned violence – also generated material conditions of impairment that ...


Race And Culture In The Early-Twentieth-Century United States And Colonial Hawaii, Leah Kuragano Mar 2017

Race And Culture In The Early-Twentieth-Century United States And Colonial Hawaii, Leah Kuragano

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The following essays are two explorations of the role of culture in colonial Hawai‘i and in the American metropole in racializing and dominating Native Hawaiians in terms of a larger history of race-based oppression and romanticization in the US. The first essay draws from Werner Sollors’ Ethnic Modernism, in which he argues that the aesthetic movement of modernism, which has been historically white-washed by scholars, had strong ties to the influx of immigrants and the growing popularity of jazz music and other forms of African American cultural expression in the early twentieth century. The second essay, written for “Politics ...


Corporate Capitalism And Racial (In)Justice: Teaching The Colonel’S Dream, Francesca Sawaya Jan 2017

Corporate Capitalism And Racial (In)Justice: Teaching The Colonel’S Dream, Francesca Sawaya

Arts & Sciences Book Chapters

Growing up in Cleveland after the Civil War and during the brutal rollback of Reconstruction and the onset of Jim Crow, Charles W. Chesnutt could have passed as white but chose to identify himself as black. An intellectual and activist involved with the NAACP who engaged in debate with Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. Du Bois, he wrote fiction and essays that addressed issues as various as segregation, class among both blacks and whites, Southern nostalgia, and the Wilmington coup d’état of 1898. The portrayals of race, racial violence, and stereotyping in Chesnutt’s works challenge teachers ...


Folk Into Art: John Fahey, Modernism And The American Folk Revival, Lisa Carpenter Jan 2017

Folk Into Art: John Fahey, Modernism And The American Folk Revival, Lisa Carpenter

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

John Fahey’s music holds a distinct place in the mid-century folk revival--distinct because he is difficult to fit in with traditional narratives of the revival. John Fahey created a unique musical style through incorporation of traditional American music with classical music forms. His musical “quotations” and renditions of American blues, folk, ragtime, Protestant hymns, and parlor songs did not merely revive traditional music, but gave it new form and newfound respect in order to further artistic exploration. Fahey was a musical modernist, infusing tradition with the new. Fahey’s work can be situated in the context of modernist/folk ...


Material Literacy: Alphabets, Bodies, And Consumer Culture, Wendy Korwin-Pawlowski Jan 2017

Material Literacy: Alphabets, Bodies, And Consumer Culture, Wendy Korwin-Pawlowski

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This dissertation posits that a new form of material literacy emerged in the United States between 1890 and 1925, in tandem with the modern advertising profession. A nation recalibrating the way it valued economic and cultural mass consumption demanded, among other things, new signage – new ways to announce, and through those announcements, to produce its commitment to consumer society. What I call material literacy emerged as a set of interpretive skills wielded by both the creators and audiences of advertising material, whose paths crossed via representations of goods. These historically situated ways of reading and writing not only invited Americans ...


Creolized Histories: Hybrid Literatures Of The Americas, Apostolos Rofaelas Nov 2016

Creolized Histories: Hybrid Literatures Of The Americas, Apostolos Rofaelas

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

This dissertation is about a hemispheric understanding of the Americas by foregrounding hybrid literatures written both by Caribbean and U.S. American authors as the space where a transnational slave past of diversity, relation, and cross-cultural influence can be revealed and discussed. I use the term hybrid because these imaginary writings engage with actual events and real-life people that have shaped the history of the Americas, the interpretation of which is re-negotiated here though both history and literature. and literatures because it is not only novels but also epic poetry and oral stories that writers resort to in order to ...


The Politics Of Empire: The United States And The Global Structure Of Imperialism In The Early Twenty-First Century, Edward P. Hunt Oct 2016

The Politics Of Empire: The United States And The Global Structure Of Imperialism In The Early Twenty-First Century, Edward P. Hunt

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

In the field of diplomatic history, scholars have debated how the United States has played an imperial role in the world. Although diplomatic historians have presented many different interpretations, they have never agreed on the defining aspects of U.S. imperialism. My dissertation intervenes in the debate by reviewing how the United States functioned as an imperial power at the start of the twenty-first century. In my dissertation, I make use of a wide array of publicly available sources, including the public remarks of U.S. officials, the public records of the U.S. government, and the diplomatic cables published ...


New South(Ern) Landscapes: Reenvisioning Tourism, Industry, And The Environment In The American South, John Barrington Matthews Oct 2016

New South(Ern) Landscapes: Reenvisioning Tourism, Industry, And The Environment In The American South, John Barrington Matthews

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Commenting on two distinct bodies of visual culture, this thesis examines how the American South has been depicted in photography, advertisement, and popular media. Exploring images of the South ranging from Depression-era Virginia to present day lower Louisiana, these papers seek to better incorporate views of a region traditionally underrepresented in visual depictions of the American landscape. Underlying both projects is an interest in utilizing visual culture as a means to understand humanity’s relationship with the nonhuman world. Taking a closer look at promotional materials from the early years of Shenandoah National Park, as well as the (post)industrial ...


Uncanny Objects: The Art Of Moving And Looking Human, Khanh Van Ngoc Vo Oct 2016

Uncanny Objects: The Art Of Moving And Looking Human, Khanh Van Ngoc Vo

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Automata ("self-moving" machines) and reborn dolls (hyperrealistic baby dolls) individually conjure up questions of dynamic and aesthetic realism--external components of the human form as realistically represented or reproduced. as simulacra of humans in movement and appearance, they serve as sites of the uncanny exemplifying the idea in which as varying forms of the cyborg imbue them with troubling yet fantastical qualities that raises questions about our own humanness. My first essay, “Automaton: Movement and Artificial/Mechanical Life” directly addresses the characteristics that define humanness, principally the Rene Descartes mind-body dichotomy, by tracing the evolution of mechanical life, predicated as much ...


Putin' On For Da Lou: Hip Hop's Response To Racism In St. Louis, Travis Terrell Harris Oct 2016

Putin' On For Da Lou: Hip Hop's Response To Racism In St. Louis, Travis Terrell Harris

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

The brutal slaying of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014 by Police officer Darren Wilson is part of an endemic system of institutional racism against Blacks in St. Louis, Missouri. This system takes place in racialized spaces that entail disparate health care, failing schools, commercial redlining, an unjust justice system and several additional oppressive forces. I am seeking to understand the ways in which Hip Hop respond to these systems of oppression. I am interested in Hip Hop’s response because Hip Hoppers are enduring racism. Further, Hip Hop’s representation in popular culture draws attention to misogyny, drugs, violence ...


Between Third Reich And American Way: Transatlantic Migration And The Politics Of Belonging, 1919-1939, Christian Wilbers Jun 2016

Between Third Reich And American Way: Transatlantic Migration And The Politics Of Belonging, 1919-1939, Christian Wilbers

Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects

Historians consider the years between World War I and World War II to be a period of decline for German America. This dissertation complicates that argument by applying a transnational framework to the history of German immigration to the United States, particularly the period between 1919 and 1939. The author argues that contrary to previous accounts of that period, German migrants continued to be invested in the homeland through a variety of public and private relationships that changed the ways in which they thought about themselves as Germans and Americans. By looking at migration through a transnational lens, the author ...


Understanding North Korea In The Korean Diaspora: Teaching North Korea To American Students, So Dam Hong May 2016

Understanding North Korea In The Korean Diaspora: Teaching North Korea To American Students, So Dam Hong

Undergraduate Honors Theses

My honors thesis is a teaching project on the topic of “Understanding North Korea in the Korean Diaspora,” which is designed to be part of Korean American Diaspora Studies (KADS), a class taught in spring 2016 at the College of William and Mary, or as a short individual class for Korean American and non-Korean American college students. I designed and developed this course and honors thesis to provide teachers and students with the opportunity to teach and learn about North Korea beyond preconceptions and stereotypes, which are constructed and maintained by the mainstream culture, by digging out the buried and ...


“Insane For The Destination:” Disrupting The Teleological Impulses Of Sylvia Plath’S Ariel And Adrienne Rich’S Diving Into The Wreck, Noah Christopher Brooksher May 2016

“Insane For The Destination:” Disrupting The Teleological Impulses Of Sylvia Plath’S Ariel And Adrienne Rich’S Diving Into The Wreck, Noah Christopher Brooksher

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Despite their complex poetry, the critical scholarship of Sylvia Plath and Adrienne Rich has been dominated by oversimplistic and reductive biographical and feminist readings that fail to engage with the nuanced texts. By contrast, this paper intends to examine these poets through a post-structuralist feminist framework. Not only does such a perspective challenge pre-existing critical assumptions of both poets’ work, but it also draws attention to their key differences: their treatment of selfhood and history. In Ariel, Plath’s rejection of a final, transcendent telos informs a poetics that challenges the romantic humanist view of the uniform subject predicated on ...