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Black Men Who Betray Their Race: 20th Century Literary Representations Of The Black Male Race Traitor, Gregory Coleman Jul 2019

Black Men Who Betray Their Race: 20th Century Literary Representations Of The Black Male Race Traitor, Gregory Coleman

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation, Black Men Who Betray Their Race, gathers a literary archive in order to identify and introduce the “race traitor” as a heretofore unrecognized yet important trope within 20th century African-American Literature. In addition to coping with the burden of racism, African Americans have had to put considerable energy toward negotiating the possibility of being perceived as race traitors by others within the African American community. This study tracks the possibilities and perils of black group identity in literary representations of black men, neither privileging opposition to the white world, nor celebrating black unity beyond it. Focusing on ...


The Political Work Of Memory In Collaborative Caribbean Archaeology, Elena Sesma Jul 2019

The Political Work Of Memory In Collaborative Caribbean Archaeology, Elena Sesma

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation is the product of a community-based research project that sought to understand how descendants of the 19th century Millars Plantation on the southern end of Eleuthera, Bahamas continue to use and reinterpret the landscape that they have called home for over a century and a half. In 1871, the last owner of the Millars Plantation left the estate in her will to the descendants of her former slaves and servants. That descendant community still upholds their right to this land today, although in recent years, a Bahamian developer has attempted to gain title to the acreage through the ...


Heritage Sites, Leah Burke Jul 2019

Heritage Sites, Leah Burke

Masters Theses

A written thesis to accompany the M.F.A. Exhibition Heritage Sites, in which vignettes of the artist’s personal and familial narratives become a backdrop for examining themes such as global tourism, the notion of universal heritage, and questioning Puerto Rico as a postcolonial place. A two channel short video layers archival imagery with original material to examine the ways Puerto Rico has been represented and misrepresented personally and globally.


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 ...


"The Whole Nation Will Move": Grassroots Organizing In Harlem And The Advent Of The Long, Hot Summers, Peter Blackmer Nov 2018

"The Whole Nation Will Move": Grassroots Organizing In Harlem And The Advent Of The Long, Hot Summers, Peter Blackmer

Doctoral Dissertations

“The Whole Nation Will Move” provides a narrative history of grassroots struggles for African American equality and empowerment in Harlem in the decade immediately preceding the era of widespread urban rebellions in the United States. Through a street-level examination of the political education and activism of grassroots organizers, the dissertation analyzes how local people developed a collective radical consciousness and organized to confront and dismantle institutional racism in New York City from 1954-1964. This work also explores how the interests and activities of poor and working-class Black and Puerto Rican residents of Harlem fueled the escalation of protest activity and ...


The Privilege Of Blackness: Black Empowerment And The Fight For Liberation In Attala County, Mississippi 1865-1915, Evan Ashford Nov 2018

The Privilege Of Blackness: Black Empowerment And The Fight For Liberation In Attala County, Mississippi 1865-1915, Evan Ashford

Doctoral Dissertations

Post-Civil War historiography paid minimal attention to the rural Afro-American impact on Southern social, economic, and political institutions prior to the 20th century. This dissertation addresses this deficit. The Privilege of Blackness: Black Empowerment and the Fight for Liberation examines how Afro-Americans in rural Mississippi empowered themselves via their mentality, interracial interactions, landownership, labor diversification, education and suffrage as a means to fight for individual and racial liberation.

The Privilege of Blackness: Black Empowerment and the Fight for Liberation in Attala County, Mississippi 1865-1915 makes the claim that freedom grounded Afro-American peoples claim to their inalienable rights guaranteed by ...


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 ...


Asian American Heritage Seeking: Personal Narrative Performances Of Ancestral Return, Porntip Israsena Twishime Jul 2018

Asian American Heritage Seeking: Personal Narrative Performances Of Ancestral Return, Porntip Israsena Twishime

Masters Theses

Asian American belongings, migration patterns, and transnational identities are largely constructed in the United States as static, unidirectional, and invisible. Asian Americans complicate these constructions through the practice of ancestral return. In this thesis, “ancestral return” is constituted through one’s participation in a university study abroad program to a specific place to where one traces her heritage. I use “return” not necessarily to account for a form of reverse migration; rather “return” here names the multiple, sometimes contradictory kinds of return, including “return” to a place that one has not yet been. This project examines how Asian American identities ...


Infants Of The Spring: Disrupting The Narrative, Ifa Bayeza Jul 2018

Infants Of The Spring: Disrupting The Narrative, Ifa Bayeza

Masters Theses

This written portion of my thesis will document and codify how I as dramaturg, writer and director adapted and staged the classic Harlem Renaissance novel Infants of the Spring by Wallace Thurman. I walk the reader through how seeing as a director influenced my creative choices through key aspects of production: script development, design, and building the ensemble. The thesis will conclude with a post-production reflection and summary.


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

“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 ...


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 ...


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 Economy Of Evangelism In The Colonial American South, Julia Carroll Jul 2017

The Economy Of Evangelism In The Colonial American South, Julia Carroll

Masters Theses

Eighteenth-century Methodist evangelism supported, perpetuated, and promoted slavery as requisite for a productive economy in the colonial American South. Religious thought of the First Great Awakening emerged alongside a colonial economy increasingly reliant on chattel slavery for its prosperity. The records of well-traveled celebrity minister and provocateur of the Anglican tradition, George Whitefield, suggest how Calvinist-Methodist evangelicals viewed slavery as necessary to supporting colonial ministerial efforts. Whitefield’s absorption of and immersion into American culture is revealed in his owning a plantation, portraying a willingness to sacrifice the mobility of the disfranchised for widespread consumption of evangelical thought. A side ...


Verbal -S Productions In The Structured Writing Samples Of Variable Aae-Speaking Fourth-Grade Students With And Without Language Impairment, Jacklyn High Felton Jul 2017

Verbal -S Productions In The Structured Writing Samples Of Variable Aae-Speaking Fourth-Grade Students With And Without Language Impairment, Jacklyn High Felton

Doctoral Dissertations

Researchers in speech-language pathology and ethnolinguistics have worked to gain knowledge about typical and atypical language patterns of African American children who are identified as African American English (AAE) dialect speakers. Much progress had been made, but limitations in this field of knowledge have persisted, especially for AA children who demonstrate variable use of AAE, presumably through the process of assimilation in the school setting. Therefore, more information is needed to provide diagnostic markers for deviations in typical language development for variable AAE-MAE speakers. Prior empirical research has found that third- and fourth-grade AAE-speaking children with typical language development overtly ...


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 ...


Waiting For Now: Postcolonial Fiction And Colonial Time, Amanda Ruth Waugh Lagji Jul 2017

Waiting For Now: Postcolonial Fiction And Colonial Time, Amanda Ruth Waugh Lagji

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation examines the temporalities of waiting in global Anglophone fiction, reinvigorating waiting as a modality that can be at turns debilitating, strategic, calculating, and meditative. By arguing for the centrality of waiting to the experience of postcoloniality, my dissertation challenges the dominant narrative of the twentieth century as a time only of acceleration and movement.
In the introduction, I draw from social scientific studies of waiting, as well as philosophies of time, mobility studies, and history, to create a robust framework of waiting as a cultural practice and privileged analytical concept for scrutinizing colonial and postcolonial regimes of time ...


Master's Tools And The Master's House: A Historical Analysis Exploring The Myth Of Educating For Democracy In The United States, Timothy Scott Mar 2017

Master's Tools And The Master's House: A Historical Analysis Exploring The Myth Of Educating For Democracy In The United States, Timothy Scott

Doctoral Dissertations

Over the past forty-years, neoliberal education reform policies in the U.S. have spurred significant resistance, often galvanized by claims that such policies undermine public education as a vital institution of U.S. democracy. Within this narrative, many activists call to “save our schools” and return them to a time when public schools served the common good. With these narratives in mind, I explore the foundational and persistent power structures that characterize the U.S. as a means to reveal the fundamental purpose of its public education system. The questions that guide my research include: (1) With an understanding that ...


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 Mar 2017

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 ...


"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 ...


Of Wolves, Hunters, And Words: A Comparative Study Of Cultural Discourses In The Western Great Lakes Region, Tovar Cerulli Mar 2016

Of Wolves, Hunters, And Words: A Comparative Study Of Cultural Discourses In The Western Great Lakes Region, Tovar Cerulli

Doctoral Dissertations

This study is a description, interpretation, and comparison of talk about wolves. The study is based on diverse data—including in-depth interviews, instances of public talk, government documents, and letters to the editor—gathered over three years. An overarching research question guides the study: How do hunting communities create and use discourses concerning wolves? The study is situated within the ethnography of communication and, more specifically, the framework of cultural discourse analysis. The study employs cultural discourse analysis methods and concepts to describe and develop interpretations of how participants render wolves symbolically meaningful, and of beliefs and values underpinning such ...


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 ...


A List Of Racialized Black Dolls: 1850-1940, Anthony F. Martin Jan 2016

A List Of Racialized Black Dolls: 1850-1940, Anthony F. Martin

African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter

Between 1850 and 1940 Black racialized dolls made in Europe and the northern United States saturated the marketplace with the peak years in the 1920s. These dolls were advertised with pejorative names and descriptions that typed cast African Americans as domestics and labors on mythical antebellum landscapes assisted White children in shaping Black people as inferior to Whites. Data mining doll encyclopedias, websites, and catalogs, I have compiled a list of Black racialized dolls. Additionally, I have provided advertisements of positive imagine Black dolls from The Crisis and The Negro World that provided a counterweight to the stereotyped dolls.


Terracotta Pipes With Triangular Engravings, Flavia Zorzi, Daniel G. Schávelzon Jan 2016

Terracotta Pipes With Triangular Engravings, Flavia Zorzi, Daniel G. Schávelzon

African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter

The discovery of two smoking pipes from seventeenth-century contexts in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is used to suggest the presence in colonial times of a new set of stylistic norms derived from African traditions that are expressed at a regional scale not only in smoking pipes, but in a variety of items of material culture. These terracotta pipes, recovered at Bolívar 373 and the Liniers House sites, are characterized by their particular geometric decorative pattern, achieved by engravings and incisions. Similar specimens were found elsewhere in Buenos Aires, as well as in Cayastá (province of Santa Fe, Argentina) and Brazil.


Sweat The Technique: Visible-Izing Praxis Through Mimicry In Phillis Wheatley's "On Being Brought From Africa To America", Karla V. Zelaya Nov 2015

Sweat The Technique: Visible-Izing Praxis Through Mimicry In Phillis Wheatley's "On Being Brought From Africa To America", Karla V. Zelaya

Doctoral Dissertations

“On Being Brought from Africa to America” was written in 1768, seven years after a

seven or eight-year-old Phillis Wheatley arrived to British North America. Phillis

Wheatley was about fifteen-years-old when she wrote the most reviled poem in

Black literature. Charged with thinking white and writing white, “On Being Brought

from Africa to America” would condemn Phillis Wheatley as an imitator of the white

gaze. Although accused of straightening her tongue, Phillis Wheatley did not imitate

the white gaze in “On Being Brought from Africa to America.” She mimicked it. To

imitate means to do something the same way. To ...


Ts'msyen Revolution: The Poetics And Politics Of Reclaiming, Robin R. R. Gray Nov 2015

Ts'msyen Revolution: The Poetics And Politics Of Reclaiming, Robin R. R. Gray

Doctoral Dissertations

As a result of the settler colonial project in North America, Ts’msyen have been thrust into a state of reclamation. The purpose of this study was to examine the distinctiveness of what it means for Ts’msyen to reclaim given our particular history and experiences with settler colonialism. Utilizing the poetics and politics as a theoretical, methodological and practical framework, this dissertation synthesizes the motivations, possibilities and obstacles associated with Ts’msyen reclamation in the contemporary era. Further, as a contribution to the literature on decolonization, Indigenous nationhood, Indigenous subjectivity, Indigenous methodologies and repatriation of Indigenous cultural heritage, I ...


Creating The Ideal Mexican: 20th And 21st Century Racial And National Identity Discourses In Oaxaca, Savannah N. Carroll Nov 2015

Creating The Ideal Mexican: 20th And 21st Century Racial And National Identity Discourses In Oaxaca, Savannah N. Carroll

Doctoral Dissertations

This investigation intends to uncover past and contemporary socioeconomic significance of being a racial other in Oaxaca, Mexico and its relevance in shaping Mexican national identity. The project has two purposes: first, to analyze activities and observations of cultural missionaries in Oaxaca during the 1920s and 1930s, and second to relate these findings to historical and present implications of blackness in an Afro-Mexican community. Cultural missionaries were appointed by the Secretary of Public Education (SEP) to create schools throughout Mexico, focusing on the modernization of marginalized communities through formal and social education. This initiative was intended to resolve socioeconomic disparities ...


Slavery On Their Minds: Representing The Institution In Children's Picture Books, Raphael E. Rogers Aug 2015

Slavery On Their Minds: Representing The Institution In Children's Picture Books, Raphael E. Rogers

Doctoral Dissertations

This study examines how slavery is represented in contemporary children’s picture books. Given that many primary and secondary school teachers are committed to using picture book fiction to teach students about slavery, it is necessary to explore how slavery is depicted in these texts. One of the goals of this study is to contribute to the discussion about how the featured picture books engage with and respond to the early historiography of slavery, which asserted that Black slave were content and docile and that slave owners were kind and paternalistic. This study seeks to analyze how the picture books ...


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 ...


Historic Black Lives Matter: Archaeology As Activism In The 21st Century, Kelley F. Deetz, Ellen Chapman, Ana Edwards, Phil Wilayto Apr 2015

Historic Black Lives Matter: Archaeology As Activism In The 21st Century, Kelley F. Deetz, Ellen Chapman, Ana Edwards, Phil Wilayto

African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter

May 19, 2015 would have been Malcolm X’s 90th birthday, and fifty years after his assassination we are still dealing with the ghosts of slavery, Jim Crow, and the manifestations of institutionalized racism. While much progress was made from the Civil Rights Movement, we still have far to go. This past year brought the topics of slavery, civil rights, and racism back into the mainstream. These stories are not new for those of us who work tirelessly to chronicle these historical and contemporary narratives in an attempt to educate the public about Black history. The “New Civil Rights Movement ...