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University of Massachusetts Amherst

Doctoral Dissertations

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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 ...


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 ...


Pakistani Pro-Democracy Movement: From The 1960s To The 2000s, Sofia Checa Jul 2019

Pakistani Pro-Democracy Movement: From The 1960s To The 2000s, Sofia Checa

Doctoral Dissertations

in Pakistan from the 1960s to the 2000s, with a focus on the latter. The dissertation is composed of three different papers. The first paper is an analysis of the changing civil society in Pakistan. I argue that in order to understand why the two movements were so different, we need to look at not just a snap shot of the civil society, but its evolution over the years. Rather than thinking of civil society as a static collection of different groups and organizations, this research analyzes it as a combination of groups (or structures) as well as processes that ...


Hashtag Holocaust: Negotiating Memory In The Age Of Social Media, Erica Fagen Jul 2019

Hashtag Holocaust: Negotiating Memory In The Age Of Social Media, Erica Fagen

Doctoral Dissertations

This study examines the representation of Holocaust memory through photographs on the social media platforms of Flickr and Instagram. It looks at how visitors – armed with digital cameras and smartphones – depicted their experiences at the former concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Dachau, Sachsenhausen, and Neuengamme. The study’s arguments are twofold: firstly, social media posts about visits to former concentration camps are a form of Holocaust memory, and secondly, social media allows people from all backgrounds the opportunity to share their memories online. Holocaust memory on social media introduces a new, digital kind of memory called “filtered memory.”

This study demonstrates ...


“Greetings, I Am An Immortal God!”: Reading, Imagination, And Personal Divinity In Late Antiquity, 2nd – 5th Centuries Ce, Mark Roblee Jul 2019

“Greetings, I Am An Immortal God!”: Reading, Imagination, And Personal Divinity In Late Antiquity, 2nd – 5th Centuries Ce, Mark Roblee

Doctoral Dissertations

In City of God, Augustine entertains “personal divinity”—the idea that a person could become an immortal god. Recent scholarship has focused on the social function of such beliefs. The divine status of public figures such as emperors and martyrs has become a trope widely understood in its social and institutional dimensions. I add to this sociological understanding by inquiring into individual experience. How did a late antique person become divine? How did she understand divinity and the limits of the self? In City of God, Augustine assembles an archive that includes references to works by Platonists Apuleius, Plotinus, Porphyry ...


Self-Knowledge, Choice Blindness, And Confabulation, Hayley F. Webster Jul 2019

Self-Knowledge, Choice Blindness, And Confabulation, Hayley F. Webster

Doctoral Dissertations

There are two kinds of epistemic theories about self-knowledge: the traditional account, and the inferentialist account. According to the traditional view of self-knowledge, we have privileged access to our propositional attitudes. “Privileged access” means that one can gain knowledge of one’s own propositional attitudes directly via an exclusive, first-personal method called introspection. On the other hand, the inferentialist view of self-knowledge postulates that we don’t have privileged access to our propositional attitudes and must infer or self-attribute them instead. In this thesis I argue that the traditional view of self-knowledge, which postulates that we have privileged access to ...


Globalizing Nature On The Shakespearean Stage, William Steffen Mar 2019

Globalizing Nature On The Shakespearean Stage, William Steffen

Doctoral Dissertations

As the far-reaching consequences of human-generated climate change continue to threaten the earth, an evaluation of the historical narrative of the Anthropocene has never been more important. Globalizing Nature revises the anthropocentric narrative of early globalization from the perspective of the non-human world on the early modern stage, which showcases Nature’s agency in determining ecological, economic, and colonial outcomes. Overturning the popular narrative that European technology and military might determined the outcome of settler colonialism in ancient Britain and colonial Virginia, John Fletcher’s Bonduca suggests that the floral and microbial grafts attending colonial exchange could make or break ...


Engaged, Multicultural Individualism In The Millennial Works Of Maryse Condé And Zadie Smith, Nicole Calandra Mar 2019

Engaged, Multicultural Individualism In The Millennial Works Of Maryse Condé And Zadie Smith, Nicole Calandra

Doctoral Dissertations

In “Engaged, Multicultural Individualism in the Millennial Works of Maryse Condé and Zadie Smith,” I explore the way these authors of the Caribbean diaspora represent the particular challenges characters face when they try to construct individual identities while also managing past traumas and future anxieties in multicultural contexts. I argue that the only path to success is through the development of a humor perspective similar to that of Condé’s and Smith’s third-person narrators, whose humorous, mocking tone, particularly at moments of crisis, creates the critical distance necessary for constructing an autonomous individual identity.

The first chapter argues that ...


Implicit Learning As A Means Of Tonal Jazz Pitch-Listening Skills Acquisition, David Mosher Mar 2019

Implicit Learning As A Means Of Tonal Jazz Pitch-Listening Skills Acquisition, David Mosher

Doctoral Dissertations

In this dissertation, I present a method for developing tonal jazz pitch-listening skills (PLS) which is rooted in scientific experimental findings from the fields of music cognition and perception. Converging experimental evidence supports the notion that humans develop listening skills through implicit learning via immersive, statistically rich exposure to real music from a particular musical idiom, such as tonal jazz. Therefore, I recommend that to acquire tonal jazz pitch-listening skills, learners should (1) immerse themselves in the real music of that idiom, (2) remediate their listening skills, where necessary, by listening to slowed-down versions with exaggerated features, and (3) organize ...


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 ...


"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 ...


Rhotic Variation In The Spanish Spoken By Puerto Ricans In Puerto Rico And Western Massachusetts, Alba Arias Alvarez Nov 2018

Rhotic Variation In The Spanish Spoken By Puerto Ricans In Puerto Rico And Western Massachusetts, Alba Arias Alvarez

Doctoral Dissertations

The Spanish trill is known to present a wide range of phonetic variation in Puerto Rican Spanish (PRS), attested not only on the island but in the diaspora. Combining auditory and acoustic analysis, this research project studies acoustic data on onset /r/ in Holyoke, MA, the city with the largest per capita population of Puerto Ricans living outside the island. The aim of this dissertation is to analyze whether there is trill variation in the PR community in Holyoke, and, whether it mirrors the variation found in Puerto Rico. Special attention is paid to glottal, velar, or uvular /r/ realizations ...


Epic And Identity: Exploring Genre And Understanding The Self In The Middle High German 'Spielmannsepen', Rachael A. Salyer Oct 2018

Epic And Identity: Exploring Genre And Understanding The Self In The Middle High German 'Spielmannsepen', Rachael A. Salyer

Doctoral Dissertations

The cluster of anonymous Middle High German epics known as the Spielmannsepen presents an interesting challenge to notions of genre and identity in the Middle Ages. This project explores some of the issues surrounding those notions in three particular texts, including König Rother, Orendel, and St. Oswald. Discussions of genre and identity complement one another in this work because each functions as a means of categorization. Questions surrounding the poems’ manuscript traditions and presumed composition dates are analyzed, and aspects of the eponymous heroes’ identities are also examined.


Creating A Symbol Of Science: The Development Of A Standard Periodic Table Of The Elements, Ann Robinson Oct 2018

Creating A Symbol Of Science: The Development Of A Standard Periodic Table Of The Elements, Ann Robinson

Doctoral Dissertations

It is probably a surprise to most people that the periodic table they remember from high school chemistry is not the only periodic table – and never has been. Currently there are probably over a thousand different forms. The table in your chemistry textbook or on the wall chart in your chemistry classroom is not the periodic table. It is simply the most commonly used form. In fact, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), the international standards-making body for chemistry, has stated that although they encourage the use of this form, they will not endorse any one form ...


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 ...


Developing Musicianship And 21st Century Learning Skills Using The Lisk “Creative Director” Series, Thomas Reynolds, Thomas E. Reynolds Oct 2018

Developing Musicianship And 21st Century Learning Skills Using The Lisk “Creative Director” Series, Thomas Reynolds, Thomas E. Reynolds

Doctoral Dissertations

ABSTRACT

DEVELOPING MUSICIANSHIP AND 21st CENTURY LEARNING SKILLS USING THE LISK “CREATIVE DIRECTOR” SERIES

SEPTEMBER 2018

THOMAS E. REYNOLDS, B.M.E., NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC

M.M.E. ITHACA COLLEGE

Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST

Directed by: Professor Sara K. Jones

The Edward S. Lisk “Creative Director” pedagogical techniques have been found to be invaluable in the instrumental music classroom for teaching overall musicianship skills. As educators address the teaching of 21st century learning skills through all of the academic disciplines, many of the Lisk techniques for teaching overall musicianship skills also foster the teaching ...


Extrinsic Phrases In Early-Classical Sonata Forms, Rebecca Long Oct 2018

Extrinsic Phrases In Early-Classical Sonata Forms, Rebecca Long

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation seeks to introduce, identify, and document a set of syntactic insertions in sonata forms that I call extrinsic phrases. At its most basic, “extrinsic phrase” refers to any phrase-length insertion between the transition and secondary theme of a sonata-form movement. This concept encompasses several terms (or examples thereof) from current writings about sonata forms. However, unlike those terms, I purposefully define extrinsic phrases broadly so that they act as a generic option for an analyst.

Instead of attempting to create a long-range view of extrinsic phrases across the whole of sonata-form writing, this initial work on extrinsic phrases ...


Exploring The Easy Road To Nominalism, Jordan Kroll Oct 2018

Exploring The Easy Road To Nominalism, Jordan Kroll

Doctoral Dissertations

My dissertation is divided into three self-contained chapters, each of which explores some facet of nominalism. The overall aim is to explicate and defend a nominalist approach that recognizes the utility of talking about, or presupposing the existence of, abstract objects even if no such objects exist.

The first chapter begins with a question: why is talk about abstract mathematical entities so useful in describing and explaining the physical world? Here is an answer: talk about such entities is useful for describing and explaining the physical world insofar as there is some appropriate structural similarity between them and the target ...


“To Weigh The World Anew”: Poetics, Rhetoric, And Social Struggle, From Sidney’S Arcadia To Shakespeare’S Theater, David Katz Oct 2018

“To Weigh The World Anew”: Poetics, Rhetoric, And Social Struggle, From Sidney’S Arcadia To Shakespeare’S Theater, David Katz

Doctoral Dissertations

To Weigh the World Anew examines moments of rhetorical exchange in romances written by Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and Mary Wroth, arguing that these texts portray formal oratory as either unethical or inefficacious, while simultaneously depicting poetic or theatrical discourses as productively intervening between interlocutors of diverse social statuses. These exemplary episodes show fiction successfully mediating between different classes and genders, creating a demarcation between poetry and competing forms of eloquence and participating in the emergence of the poetical from the rhetorical. Ultimately, the repeated depiction of poesis as an efficacious form of mediation in self-reflexive romance shows ...


Literary Culture In Early Christian Ireland: Hiberno-Latin Saints’ Lives As A Source For Seventh-Century Irish History, John Higgins Oct 2018

Literary Culture In Early Christian Ireland: Hiberno-Latin Saints’ Lives As A Source For Seventh-Century Irish History, John Higgins

Doctoral Dissertations

The writers of seventh-century Irish saints’ Lives created the Irish past. Their accounts of the fifth-and-sixth century saints framed the narrative of early Irish Christianity for their contemporary and later audience. Cogitosus’s Life of Brigit, Muirchú’s and Tírechán’s accounts of Saint Patrick, and Adomnán’s Life of Columba have guided the understanding of early Irish history from then until now.

Unlike other early texts these Lives are securely dated. Composed as tools in the discourse regarding authority in seventh-century Irish ecclesiastical and secular politics, they provide historical insights not available from other sources. In the seventh century ...


Bodies Under Siege: Intersections Of Warfare And Hiv/Aids, Daniel Nevarez Araujo Jul 2018

Bodies Under Siege: Intersections Of Warfare And Hiv/Aids, Daniel Nevarez Araujo

Doctoral Dissertations

Analyzing works by Juan Goytisolo, Rabih Alameddine, and Derek Jarman, this dissertation studies the similarities of war and AIDS as sensorial experiences socially located and complexly embodied. This study looks at the ways bodies engage with, are affected by, and respond to both war and AIDS, specifically within the AIDS/War Narrative; that is, narrative spaces that foreground both experiences simultaneously. Influenced by Mark Paterson’s notion of felt phenomenology and positioned at the nexus of Comparative Literature, Disability Studies, and Husserlian phenomenology, this dissertation studies texts that exhibit an awareness of the phenomenal characteristics governing the experiences of AIDS ...


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 ...


Writing New Boundaries For The Law: Black Women’S Fiction And The Abject In Psychoanalysis, Angelique Warner Jul 2018

Writing New Boundaries For The Law: Black Women’S Fiction And The Abject In Psychoanalysis, Angelique Warner

Doctoral Dissertations

Many Black women authors have been pegged as mere victims by oppressive societies; their characters have been deemed psychotic or suicidal and the emphasis of the majority of the criticism on authors such as Adrienne Kennedy is on the oppressive society and not what Kennedy does with the terms of the oppressive society; that is, as an agent, as opposed to an object / victim. Julia Kristeva’s theory of abjection, delineated in her Powers of Horror, is a critical tool that allows us to see the agency and operation of the egos of characters such as those of Adrienne Kennedy ...


Turning Inside Out: Reading And Writing Godly Identity In Seventeenth-Century Narratives Of Spiritual Experience, Meghan Conine Swavely Jul 2018

Turning Inside Out: Reading And Writing Godly Identity In Seventeenth-Century Narratives Of Spiritual Experience, Meghan Conine Swavely

Doctoral Dissertations

Writing about personal experience was a central component of early modern Protestant devotional practice. It was also, this dissertation argues, a creative and social practice through which the godly imagined and crafted their own spiritual identities and constructed interpretive communities into which these identities might be accepted and valued. Exploring the ways in which seventeenth-century Protestants examined interior experience and transformed interiority into a legible expression of the spiritual self, this project proposes that believers used spiritual autobiography to substantiate the intangible and invisible signs of God’s grace, employing narrative and imaginative structures to render idiosyncratic personal experiences familiar ...


Brooklyn Bedroom: An Ethnodrama On Female Sexuality, Third World Feminism And Performance Ethnography, Ayshia Stephenson Jul 2018

Brooklyn Bedroom: An Ethnodrama On Female Sexuality, Third World Feminism And Performance Ethnography, Ayshia Stephenson

Doctoral Dissertations

Brooklyn Bedroom is a performance that interrogates societal perceptions of race and sexuality. I have utilized the writing of the performance as my method; the performance is an act of Third World feminist resistance and liberation. Storytelling is the type of research preferred by many black female playwrights. A type of qualitative inquiry, ethnodramatic work forms a bridge between individual stories and social issues affecting society with the goal of socio-political change. The source of reality for this ethnodrama is the Rose family, their history was a catalyst for the writing of Brooklyn Bedroom. I have explored their stories to ...


The First Person Perspective: Language, Thought, And Action, Pengbo Liu Jul 2018

The First Person Perspective: Language, Thought, And Action, Pengbo Liu

Doctoral Dissertations

What it is to have a first person perspective? How do we come to understand our own perspective in the world? How do we take into account other people's perspectives in our social and linguistic interactions? This dissertation is an exploration of these issues. But instead of approaching them in the abstract, it aims to shed light on these difficult questions through a series of case studies. First, I examine the role of the first person perspective in our agency, and explain the sense in which it is essential for action. Next, drawing on recent work in psychology, I ...


Responding To Questions And Assertions: Embedded Polar Response Particles, Ellipsis, And Contrast, Jeremy Pasquereau Jul 2018

Responding To Questions And Assertions: Embedded Polar Response Particles, Ellipsis, And Contrast, Jeremy Pasquereau

Doctoral Dissertations

This dissertation studies the distribution of Polar Response Particles (i.e. yes/no particles) in embedded contexts with a focus on European French.