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Narratives Of Queerness: Queer Worldmaking (In) The Classroom With Undergraduate Students, Rachel Briggs Oct 2019

Narratives Of Queerness: Queer Worldmaking (In) The Classroom With Undergraduate Students, Rachel Briggs

Doctoral Dissertations

This research brings together education research, queer theory, and performance theory to consider the worldmaking potential of the queer classroom. Using students’ stories about queerness in the classroom and my own stories about the classroom, I ask what we can learn from students’ voices about how queerness is/can be performed in the classroom and through relations. This study uses critical ethnography, personal narrative, and performative writing to examine the production of subject positions in the classroom, to connect this to a queer theoretical framework, and to explore the worldmaking potential of the classroom. I interviewed seven undergraduate students at ...


The Body (Re)Public: Women On/As The Landscape Of Modernity, From Zola’S Au Bonheur Des Dames To Varda’S Cléo De 5 À 7, Christine Gutman Oct 2019

The Body (Re)Public: Women On/As The Landscape Of Modernity, From Zola’S Au Bonheur Des Dames To Varda’S Cléo De 5 À 7, Christine Gutman

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation explores the ways in which questions of gender, space and mobility intersect in a selection of fin-de-siècle French novels and 1960s French New Wave films in an effort to discern how the representational interplay of these three elements gives allegorical form to the sociopolitical anxieties of the times in which the works were produced. Using the Paris Commune of 1871 and the protests of May ’68 as anchoring points for the two periodizations underlying my inquiry, I examine how women in the novels of Emile Zola (Au Bonheur des Dames, Nana) and Villiers de L’Isle-Adam (L’Ève ...


Everything Feels Like The Future But Us: The Posthuman Master-Slave Dynamic In Japanese Science Fiction Anime, Ryan Daly Jul 2019

Everything Feels Like The Future But Us: The Posthuman Master-Slave Dynamic In Japanese Science Fiction Anime, Ryan Daly

Masters Theses

This thesis is an exploration of the relationships between humans and mechanized beings in Japanese science fiction anime. In it I will be discussing the following texts: Ergo Proxy (2006), Chobits (2002), Gunslinger Girl (2003/2004), and Mahoromatic (2001/2002). I argue that these relationships in these anime series take the form of master/slave relationships, with the humans as the masters and the mechanized beings as the slaves. In virtually every case, the mechanized beings are young females and the masters are older human males. I will argue that this dynamic serves to reinforce traditional power structures and gender ...


The Politics Of Feeling And The Work Of Belonging In Us Immigrant Fiction 1990 - 2015, Lauren Silber Nov 2018

The Politics Of Feeling And The Work Of Belonging In Us Immigrant Fiction 1990 - 2015, Lauren Silber

Doctoral Dissertations

“The Politics of Feeling and the Work of Belonging in US Immigrant Fiction 1990 – 2015” presents readers with a distinct optic: if we are to fully grasp contemporary US racial politics, we must recognize the narrative work emotion performs in popular US diasporic fiction. Comparing the work of authors who have become mainstays in the multi-ethnic US literary canon such as Jhumpa Lahiri, Julia Alvarez, Junot Díaz, Lan Cao, Achy Obejas, Cristina Garcia, Kiran Desai, and Nora Okja Keller, I explicate how these popular authors exhume the complex entanglements of racialization, US empire, and global capitalism by narrating the everyday ...


Charting The Terrain Of Latina/O/X Theater In Chicago, Priscilla M. Page Nov 2018

Charting The Terrain Of Latina/O/X Theater In Chicago, Priscilla M. Page

Doctoral Dissertations

There is a rich tapestry of Latina/o/x theater in Chicago. Through in-depth interviews, I use first-voice narratives to construct four decades of Latina/o/x theater history with the artists who were founding directors and/or members of these companies: Latino Chicago, Latino Experimental Theater Company, Teatro Vista, Teatro Luna, and Urban Theater Company. My aim with this project is to listen carefully to Latina/o/x artists in Chicago so that I can play a role in amplifying their voices as they articulate their experiences in this Midwestern city they call home. I organized my findings into ...


Bridging Contradictions: Socialist Actresses And Star Culture In East Germany, Victoria Rizo Lenshyn, Victoria Isabelle Rizo Lenshyn Oct 2018

Bridging Contradictions: Socialist Actresses And Star Culture In East Germany, Victoria Rizo Lenshyn, Victoria Isabelle Rizo Lenshyn

Doctoral Dissertations

In this dissertation, I argue that multiple stakeholders in East Germany (GDR)—the fans, artists, and state— adapted the star phenomenon to help validate GDR socialist culture at home and abroad, and to bridge seemingly contradictory elements within the dualistic context of the global Cold War: the individual and collective, the ordinary and extraordinary, idealism and reality, the past and present, tradition and progress, East and West. As public figures, GDR stars offered audiences multiple points of identification and helped the enlarged working class navigate its new dominant social position in GDR social life. Officially, stars offered an engaging performance ...


Property, Postsocialism, And Post-Yugoslav Identity: A Feminist Communication Performance Ethnography, Jennifer Zenovich Jul 2018

Property, Postsocialism, And Post-Yugoslav Identity: A Feminist Communication Performance Ethnography, Jennifer Zenovich

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation analyzes how women in the postsocialist former Yugoslavia perform gender in the transition from socialism to capitalism by considering their material and symbolic relationships to property. Using performance ethnography to theorize the relational, embodied, and discursive ways in which identity has been mobilized in the former Yugoslavia, the central question is how insights from the postsocialist world can critique notions of the individual as well as global capital. Through the prism of postsocialist and postcolonial feminist theory and performance studies, I focus on three contexts: women’s feminized labor as sustaining the tourism industry in Montenegro, my rape ...


Kiskeyanas Valientes En Este Espacio: Dominican Women Writers And The Spaces Of Contemporary American Literature, Isabel R. Espinal Jul 2018

Kiskeyanas Valientes En Este Espacio: Dominican Women Writers And The Spaces Of Contemporary American Literature, Isabel R. Espinal

Doctoral Dissertations

We can learn and gain a lot by putting Dominican women writers at the center of our attention. Yet they rarely have that place. This dissertation looks at Dominican women authors who have lived and written in the United States —Josefina Báez, Marianela Medrano, Yrene Santos, Aurora Arias, Nelly Rosario, Annecy Báez, Ana Maurine Lara, Raquel Cepeda— and how they fit within the spaces of contemporary American society, and more broadly within world flows of peoples and cultural productions. I draw on the theories and methodologies of Gloria Anzaldúa and her generation of feminists of color, as well as subsequent ...


Documental Autoetnográfico De Posmemoria. Una Aproximación Al Pasado Franquista Desde La Perspectiva De Género, Maribel Rams Mar 2018

Documental Autoetnográfico De Posmemoria. Una Aproximación Al Pasado Franquista Desde La Perspectiva De Género, Maribel Rams

Doctoral Dissertations

This doctoral dissertation analyzes two autoethnographic documentaries recently produced in the Iberian Peninsula, Inner Memory (2002) by María Ruido and Swimming (2008) by Carla Subirana, where the quest for origins and familial truth constitutes a trope to deal with issues of collective historical memory and national identity. Both authors narrate an unsolved family history within the context of the Spain’s traumatic past: 1) María Ruido’s estrangement from her parents, Galician economic exiles during the years of development; 2) the ghostly presence in Carla Subirana’s family of her grandfather, who was executed in 1940 for being an anti-Francoist ...


Para Donde Miran Los Ojos: Confluencias Entre Locura, (Des)Identidad Y Violencia En La Obra De João Guimarães Rosa, Silvina Ocampo Y Luis Martín-Santos, Giseli C. Tordin Nov 2017

Para Donde Miran Los Ojos: Confluencias Entre Locura, (Des)Identidad Y Violencia En La Obra De João Guimarães Rosa, Silvina Ocampo Y Luis Martín-Santos, Giseli C. Tordin

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation studies the representation of madness in the literary works of three twentieth-century authors, namely, João Guimarães Rosa (from Brazil), Silvina Ocampo (from Argentina), and Luis Martín-Santos (from Spain). The first chapter argues that madness in Ocampo’s “El castigo”, Rosa’s “Buriti”, and Martín-Santos, Tiempo de silencio, reveals a series of conflicts between tradition and modernity, rather than the alleged symptoms of an individual suffering from a mental illness. After comparing the three works, it is evident that the decisions of their characters reproduce certain values idealized by authoritarian cultures. The second chapter discusses Rosa’s “Substância”, Ocampo ...


We Are Roses From Our Mothers' Gardens: Black Feminist Visuality In African American Women's Art, Kelli Morgan Nov 2017

We Are Roses From Our Mothers' Gardens: Black Feminist Visuality In African American Women's Art, Kelli Morgan

Doctoral Dissertations

ABSTRACT

WE ARE ROSES FROM OUR MOTHERS’ GARDENS: BLACK FEMINIST VISUALITY IN AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN’S ART

MAY 2017

KELLI MORGAN, B.A., WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY

M.A., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST

Ph.D., UNIVERISTY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST

Directed by: Professor Manisha Sinha

We Are Roses From Our Mothers' Gardens posits that in differing historical periods African American women visual artists employed various media and create from individual political thoughts, intellectual views, and aesthetic interests to emphasize the innate unification of a Black woman’s race, gender, sexuality, class, and selfhood and how this multifaceted dynamic of Black women’s ...


Transgressive Acts: Adapting Applied Theatre Techniques For A Transgender Community, Theo F. Lefevre Oct 2017

Transgressive Acts: Adapting Applied Theatre Techniques For A Transgender Community, Theo F. Lefevre

Masters Theses

This MFA Thesis traces my work as a joker (a la Theatre of the Oppressed) and facilitator through a three-year-long project with a trans applied theatre troupe. The troupe explored several techniques, including Image Theatre, Playback Theatre, storytelling exercises, and somatic movement. In three semester-long workshops, the troupe focused work around three sets of techniques. In the first workshop, the troupe explored the community-based interview process of Undesirable Elements, as designed by Ping Chong in collaboration with Talvin Wilks and Sara Zatz. These techniques were interrogated using queer and trans temporalities. In the second unit, the troupe practiced Augusto Boal ...


On The Contrary: Subverting The Canon With Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, Christina Pellegrini Jul 2017

On The Contrary: Subverting The Canon With Ibsen's Hedda Gabler, Christina Pellegrini

Masters Theses

This written portion of my thesis is aimed at documenting and synthesizing how I, as director, staged an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler through ongoing collaboration with a creative team comprised of dramaturges, designers, and actors.

I walk the reader through my exploration of Ibsen’s life and work through travel to the International Ibsen Festival in Oslo, Norway, and describe how I endeavored to lead the production’s creative team by applying feminist theories in directing and embracing the possibility of failure as a means of discovery. I discuss the casting process and establishment of an all-women ...


Women On Trial: Translating Femininity Through Journalism, William B. Ollayos Jul 2017

Women On Trial: Translating Femininity Through Journalism, William B. Ollayos

Masters Theses

The focus of this thesis is on cultural translation as a means of understanding the relationship between sociocultural identity with respect to bourgeois white female sexuality and interpretations by news journalists, writers and filmmakers. The thesis brings translation scholar Lawrence Venuti’s description of foreign and domestic texts (2008) into conversation with Catherine Cole’s analysis of journalists as active interpreters of newsworthy events (2010) to support my view of the media as a translator of sociocultural identity. The thesis outlines the construction of bourgeois white femininity within the U.S. imaginary and a more detailed account of its direct ...


The Drama Of Race: Contemporary Afro-German Theater, Jamele Watkins Jul 2017

The Drama Of Race: Contemporary Afro-German Theater, Jamele Watkins

Doctoral Dissertations

The first investigation of Afro-German theater my dissertation, “The Drama of Race,” argues that Afro-German theater empowers as Black actors take ownership of a German stage, a white German space. My dissertation highlights four crucial Afro-German plays: real life: Germany (2008), Heimat, bittersüße Heimat [Home, bittersweet Home] (2010), Also by Mail (2013), and Mais in Deutschland und anderen Galaxien [Corn in Germany and Other Galaxies] (2015). In Chapter I, I discuss the cultural conditions in which Afro-German theater emerged—after an established literary corpus by Afro-German authors. Chapter II introduces the first Afro-German play and its improvisational methods as empowering ...


Moving Against Clothespins:The Poli(Poe)Tics Of Embodiment In The Poetry Of Miriam Alves And Audre Lorde, Flávia Santos De Araújo Jul 2017

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 ...


Protest Lyrics At Work: Labor Resistance Poetry Of Depression-Era Autoworkers, Rebecca S. Griffin Nov 2016

Protest Lyrics At Work: Labor Resistance Poetry Of Depression-Era Autoworkers, Rebecca S. Griffin

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation argues that scholarly inquiry into American poetry of the Great Depression is incomplete without a critical understanding of poems produced within the labor movement. Through archival research and methodologies drawn from American studies, gender studies, cultural studies, and labor history, this dissertation demonstrates that autoworkers from 1935-1941 developed a rich poetic discourse that championed their cause. Autoworker poets—including autoworker song lyricists—used humor and borrowed extensively from popular, religious, and “folk” cultures to craft their own poetic styles and trope sets. They wrote about a diverse range of topics from their hopes for the unionization movement, to ...


Women, Convergent Film Criticism, And The Cinephilia Of Feminist Interruptions, Rachel L. Thibault Nov 2016

Women, Convergent Film Criticism, And The Cinephilia Of Feminist Interruptions, Rachel L. Thibault

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation examines the ways in which female film critics practice film criticism in the convergent age. In original research drawn from ethnographic interviews with eight female film critics and bloggers as well as textual, historical, and reception analyses of criticism, this dissertation argues that women who write film criticism in the convergent era are not only writing from a space of marginalization based on the patriarchal dominance of the film industry, but also face a series of obstacles through gendered and discursive conflicts that are unique to writing online and which do not exert the same impact on male ...


"Daring Propaganda For The Beauty Of The Human Mind:" Critical Consciousness-Raising In The Poetry And Drama Of The Black Power Era, 1965-1976, Markeysha D. Davis Nov 2016

"Daring Propaganda For The Beauty Of The Human Mind:" Critical Consciousness-Raising In The Poetry And Drama Of The Black Power Era, 1965-1976, Markeysha D. Davis

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation is a literary and intellectual history of the contributions of black American theorists, poets, and dramatists in the 1960s and 1970s towards the establishment of black critical consciousness in order to lay grounds for black people to experience a fuller existence as human beings through black-centered creations and presentations. Through the following chapters, I establish the framework and evolution of black psyche-liberation theories—spanning Du Bois’s theory of double-conscious through the contributions of black artist-theorists like Baraka, Neal, and Woodie King, Jr., followed by examinations at length of the theories of black liberation in praxis by the ...


Carmen(Es) Y Lola. El Continuo Generacional De La Educación De La Mujer Desde La Novela Y El Monólogo Teatral De Cinco Horas Con Mario Hasta La Película Función De Noche, Elisabet Pallàs Nov 2016

Carmen(Es) Y Lola. El Continuo Generacional De La Educación De La Mujer Desde La Novela Y El Monólogo Teatral De Cinco Horas Con Mario Hasta La Película Función De Noche, Elisabet Pallàs

Masters Theses

Taking as a point of reference the voice and figure of Carmen Sotillo, the present study analyzes Miguel Delibes’ Cinco horas con Mario (1966), the theatrical adaptation with the same name directed by Josefina Molina, and the film Función de noche (1981), directed also by Molina. The study addresses, on the one hand, the analysis of the mentioned works, establishing a cause-consequence relationship between Carmen’s speech and the educational paradigms of the Francoist regime in regard to women. On the other hand, the study is interested, from a general perspective, in the ideological state apparatuses and the mechanisms destined ...


Japanese Pronoun Adventure: A Japanese Language Learner's Exploration Of His Japanese Gender Pronoun, Takumi Nakano Nov 2016

Japanese Pronoun Adventure: A Japanese Language Learner's Exploration Of His Japanese Gender Pronoun, Takumi Nakano

Masters Theses

In Japanese, there are various kinds of first-person pronouns, and some of them express the referent’s gender identity. Gender-neutral pronouns are made in English- speaking world day by day, but there is not any common first-person pronoun which indicates the gender identity that positions the referent’s gender somewhere between masculine and feminine. The present paper conducted a life story research on the “Japanese life” of an advanced learner of Japanese at a university in the United States who has been exploring his gender identity by coining and using a new Japanese first- person pronoun 㛪 ore, which indicates ...


Cultural Subtexts And Social Functions Of Domestic Music-Making In Jane Austen’S England, Lidia A. Chang Jul 2016

Cultural Subtexts And Social Functions Of Domestic Music-Making In Jane Austen’S England, Lidia A. Chang

Masters Theses

Barring a few notable exceptions, English music between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries earns scant notice in music history textbooks, despite overwhelming evidence that England enjoyed a vibrant musical culture, especially during the Georgian era. However, I will argue that the English of this period were, in many respects, even more committed to music than their continental counterparts. The problem, for England, was not that it made no music during this period, but that it made the wrong kind of music, and enjoyed it in the wrong ways. At a time when Germanic critics like E.T.A. Hoffmann and ...


Cat On A Hot Tin Roof: 60 Years Of American Dialogue On Sex, Gender, And The Nuclear Family, Amy Brooks Mar 2016

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof: 60 Years Of American Dialogue On Sex, Gender, And The Nuclear Family, Amy Brooks

Masters Theses

This thesis is a two-part work. Its components, a written paper and a one-night symposium/film screening event entitled Tennessee Williams: Gender Play in 2015 and Beyond, have been closely coordinated with my dramaturgical research for the February 2015 University of Massachusetts Amherst Department of Theater production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The written inquiry is structured around a chronological, selected American production history of Cat; this history, rendered in a series of three case studies, will (1) synthesize preexisting analyses of Cat’s dramaturgical profile, its impact on American theater, and its position in Williams’s oeuvre ...


Transnationalizing Social Justice Education: Interamerican Frameworks For Teaching And Learning In The 21st Century, Mirangela G. Buggs Mar 2016

Transnationalizing Social Justice Education: Interamerican Frameworks For Teaching And Learning In The 21st Century, Mirangela G. Buggs

Doctoral Dissertations

Social Justice Education currently uses mostly U.S.-based theories and concepts, and it often relies upon nation-specific historical legacies and nation-centric contemporary understandings of patterns of inequality. This study offers interdisciplinary conceptual-historical frameworks garnered from historical studies, African Diaspora Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, along with studies of frameworks and pedagogies in critical and multicultural education to enlarge Social Justice Education. This conceptual study utilizes a world-historical analysis and focuses on the interconnectedness of the Americas—Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America— establishing a hemispheric and regional framework to inspire more transnational work in educational projects. Arguing ...


Reading Queerly In The High School Classroom: Exploring A Gay And Lesbian Literature Course, Kirsten Helmer Aug 2015

Reading Queerly In The High School Classroom: Exploring A Gay And Lesbian Literature Course, Kirsten Helmer

Doctoral Dissertations

The purpose of this dissertation is to explore how teaching an English literature curriculum centered on the stories, experiences, cultures, histories, and politics of LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex) people constitutes a meaningful site for teaching and learning in a high school classroom. The dissertation offers insights on how the teaching of LGBTQI-themed texts in English language arts classes can be reframed by bridging the goals, practices and conceptual tools of queer theory to critical literacies teaching. The project follows principles of critical qualitative research and employs an ethnographic case study approach with the purpose of transforming educational ...


Imaging Her Selves: Black Women Artists, Resistance, Image And Representation, 1938-1956, Heather Zahra Caldwell Aug 2015

Imaging Her Selves: Black Women Artists, Resistance, Image And Representation, 1938-1956, Heather Zahra Caldwell

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation focuses specifically on dancer Katherine Dunham (1909-2006), pianist Hazel Scott (1920-1981), cartoonist Jackie Ormes (1911-1985), singer Lena Horne (1917-2010), and graphic artist, painter, and sculptor Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012). It explores the artistic, performative, and political resistance deployed by these five African-American women activists, artists, and performers in the period between 1937 and 1957. The principal form of resistance employed by these women was cultural resistance. Using a mixture of archival research, first person interview, biography, as well as other primary and secondary sources, I explore how these women constructed personas, representations, and media images of African-American women to ...


Queering Identity In The African Diaspora: The Performance Dramas Of Sharon Bridgforth And Trey Anthony, Adewunmi R. Oke Mar 2015

Queering Identity In The African Diaspora: The Performance Dramas Of Sharon Bridgforth And Trey Anthony, Adewunmi R. Oke

Masters Theses

Noticeably, there is little to no cross-cultural analysis of Black queer women artists of the African diaspora in Diaspora, Literary and Theatre and Performance studies. These disciplines tend to focus on geographic locations with an emphasis on the United States, the Caribbean islands and Europe in relation to the African continent. In addition, the work of Black men artists holds precedence in discussions of blackness, diaspora, and performance. Overwhelmingly, the contributions of Black women artists in the diaspora pales in comparison to their male counterparts, especially in number. More drastically, the voices of Black queer women artists actually published are ...


Undying Protests: On Collective Action And Practices Of Resistance Against Feminicide In Ciudad Juárez, Elva F. Orozco Mendoza Mar 2015

Undying Protests: On Collective Action And Practices Of Resistance Against Feminicide In Ciudad Juárez, Elva F. Orozco Mendoza

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation project examines the wave of protests and practices of resistance that emerged in response to feminicide—the murder, with state impunity, of women and girls because they are female—in the northern cities of Ciudad Juárez and Chihuahua, Mexico. Its goal is to show how those women who live under extreme regimes of violence contest it since far too often social scientific studies that examine gender-based violence in northern Mexico have sough to understand its social, economic, and political roots. While this is indeed a significant contribution, this study aims to reflect politically on the innovative responses to ...


Documenting The (Un)Documented: Diasporic Ecuadorian Narratives In Southern/Mediterranean Europe, Esther A. Cuesta Mar 2015

Documenting The (Un)Documented: Diasporic Ecuadorian Narratives In Southern/Mediterranean Europe, Esther A. Cuesta

Doctoral Dissertations

For several decades, Ecuadorian, U.S. American, and European social scientists have studied Ecuadorian migration to the European Union. Yet little academic research has been devoted to the comparative study of literary and filmic representations of diasporic Ecuadorians. This disparity between social science and literary studies research is especially evident in scholarship published in English, a gap this dissertation proposes to fill.

I investigate the discourses, cultural production, representations, and self-representations of diasporic Ecuadorians in Southern/Mediterranean Europe, specifically in Spain and Italy, where the largest diasporic communities of Ecuadorians in the European Union reside. I focus on a selection ...


Antigone Claimed, "I Am A Stranger": Democracy, Membership And Unauthorized Immigration, Andres Fabian Henao Castro Nov 2014

Antigone Claimed, "I Am A Stranger": Democracy, Membership And Unauthorized Immigration, Andres Fabian Henao Castro

Doctoral Dissertations

My dissertation offers a new framework through which to theorize contemporary democratic practices by attending to the political agency of unauthorized immigrants. I argue that unauthorized immigrants themselves, by claiming their own ambiguous legal condition as a legitimate basis for public speech, are able to open up the boundaries of political membership and to render the foundations of democracy contingent, that is to say, they are able to reopen the question about who counts as a member of the demos. I develop this argument by way of a close reading of Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone[1], which allows me to dramatize ...