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University of Massachusetts Amherst

2013

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Articles 1 - 30 of 56

Full-Text Articles in Arts and Humanities

Whither The Material In New Media Studies?, John W. Kim Sep 2013

Whither The Material In New Media Studies?, John W. Kim

communication +1

This article addresses how new media theory has been founded on an endemic exclusion and erasure of a concept of the material, because of the ascendancy of a concept of the virtual in theoretical and historical research on the development of new media technologies. In order to develop this claim, three influential accounts of the virtual in media studies are reviewed (the history of technologies of the virtual, embodiment and informatics, and post-structuralist theories of digital media) in order to demonstrate how each is grounded in an exclusion of the material. On the basis of this analysis, the article poses ...


Informational Ontology: The Meaning Of Gilbert Simondon’S Concept Of Individuation, Andrew Iliadis Sep 2013

Informational Ontology: The Meaning Of Gilbert Simondon’S Concept Of Individuation, Andrew Iliadis

communication +1

The French philosopher Gilbert Simondon (1924-1989) was the first true philosopher of information, yet he remains relatively unknown outside of his native France. This situation is curious, given the warm reception his work has received from a small group of internationally renowned thinkers. Simondon’s lifelong project was to expound the appearance of what I call an “informational ontology,” a subject that deserves to be addresses at length. This article limits itself by focusing on three aspects of Simondon’s philosophy of information. First, it situates Simondon within the French intellectual scene in post-World War II Europe to get sense ...


New-Materialism And Reification In The Infoproduction Era, German A. Duarte Sep 2013

New-Materialism And Reification In The Infoproduction Era, German A. Duarte

communication +1

Deleuze’s works on cinema established a parallel between the evolution of cinematographic narrative spaces and the development of non-Euclidean geometries, and contributed to the overcoming of the structuralistic approach to the analysis of cinematographic narrative. From that point onwards, one starts to understand audiovisual narrative spaces as topologic spaces, namely, as spaces without a center in which the objects are highly flexible. In other words, in Deleuzian theory, the space is no longer understood as a holder or container of objects, but rather as an entity created by links, interactions, relations and proximities between objects. This centerless system also ...


Human Material In The Communication Of Capital, Atle Mikkola Kjøsen Sep 2013

Human Material In The Communication Of Capital, Atle Mikkola Kjøsen

communication +1

The purpose of this article is to interrogate Marx’s analysis of the circulation of capital through the ‘new materialist’ communications and media theory of Friedrich Kittler. It explores the connections between Marx’s commodity fetish and how Kittler posits human beings as components of an information system alongside technologies and institutions. The article ask whether a ‘non-human’ Marxist theory is possible, i.e. if it is possible to remove the human being from its privileged position in Marx’s political economy. Specifically the paper argues that human beings are programmable human matter that serves to aid the communication of ...


Game Of Objects: Vicarious Causation And Multi-Modal Media, Aaron Pedinotti Sep 2013

Game Of Objects: Vicarious Causation And Multi-Modal Media, Aaron Pedinotti

communication +1

This paper applies philosopher Graham Harman's object-oriented theory of "vicarious causation" to an analysis of the multi-modal media phenomenon known as "Game of Thrones." Examining the manner in which George R.R. Martin's best-selling series of fantasy novels has been adapted into a board game, a video game, and a hit HBO television series, it uses the changes entailed by these processes to trace the contours of vicariously generative relations. In the course of the resulting analysis, it provides new suggestions concerning the eidetic dimensions of Harman's causal model, particularly with regard to causation in linear networks ...


An Iconography Of The Flesh: How Corpses Mean As Matter, Margaret Schwartz Sep 2013

An Iconography Of The Flesh: How Corpses Mean As Matter, Margaret Schwartz

communication +1

The structuring relationship between the material world and the world of culture is variously embodied in the figure of the corpse. To ask how corpses mean as matter is to attend to them as “things themselves”—by bracketing the freighted assumptions and naturally mixed feelings we have when we encounter something that cannot but remind us of our own mortality. Corpses force us to think of putrefaction—and allow us, via a complex system of cultural and representational practices, to just as quickly disavow this unpleasantness. Wherever the corpse appears, then, it brings with it ideas about the relationship between ...


The Making Of Ras Beirut: A Landscape Of Memory For Narratives Of Exceptionalism, Maria B. Abunnasr Sep 2013

The Making Of Ras Beirut: A Landscape Of Memory For Narratives Of Exceptionalism, Maria B. Abunnasr

Open Access Dissertations

This dissertation examines the memory of Ras Beirut and the various claims to its exceptionalism. I frame its history as a landscape of memory born of the convergence of narratives of exceptionalism. On the one hand, Ras Beirut's landscape inspired Anglo-American missionary future providence such that they chose it as the site of their college on a hill, the Syrian Protestant College (SPC, later renamed the American University of Beirut [AUB]). On the other hand, the memory of Ras Beirut's "golden age" before the outbreak of the Lebanese Civil War in 1975 inspired longings for a vanished past ...


Approaches To Black Power: African American Grassroots Political Struggle In Cleveland, Ohio, 1960-1966, David M. Swiderski Sep 2013

Approaches To Black Power: African American Grassroots Political Struggle In Cleveland, Ohio, 1960-1966, David M. Swiderski

Open Access Dissertations

Black communities located in cities across the country became sites of explosive political unrest during the mid-1960s. These uprisings coincided with a period of intensified political activity among African Americans nationally, and played a decisive role in expanding national concern with black political struggle from a singular focus on the Civil Rights movement led by black southerners to consider the "race problem" clearly present in the cities of the North and West. Moreover, unrest within urban black communities emerged at a time when alternate political analyses of the relationship between black people and the American state that challenged the goal ...


Writing For Social Action: Affect, Activism, And The Composition Classroom, Sarah Finn Sep 2013

Writing For Social Action: Affect, Activism, And The Composition Classroom, Sarah Finn

Open Access Dissertations

Due to the public turn in Composition and Rhetoric, many teachers look beyond the academy in order to give students a "real" writing experience for social change purposes. However, as Bruce Horner notes, this denigrates the real work that is done within the classroom. In this dissertation, then, I argue that we can find ingredients for writing for social action in our courses, and we can do so by studying activist students who are already writing for just change. Using a case study methodology, I learn from activist students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I find that these students ...


The Structure Of Consciousness, Lowell Keith Friesen Sep 2013

The Structure Of Consciousness, Lowell Keith Friesen

Open Access Dissertations

In this dissertation, I examine the nature and structure of consciousness. Conscious experience is often said to be phenomenally unified, and subjects of consciousness are often self-conscious. I ask whether these features necessarily accompany conscious experience. Is it necessarily the case, for instance, that all of a conscious subject's experiences at a time are phenomenally unified? And is it necessarily the case that subjects of consciousness are self-conscious whenever they are conscious? I argue that the answer to the former is affirmative and the latter negative.

In the first chapter, I set the stage by distinguishing phenomenal unity from ...


The Political Economy Of Cultural Production: Essays On Music And Class, Ian J. Seda Irizarry Sep 2013

The Political Economy Of Cultural Production: Essays On Music And Class, Ian J. Seda Irizarry

Open Access Dissertations

Overview

As an activity that produces wealth, musical production and its effects have largely been neglected by the economics profession. This dissertation seeks contribute to a small but growing literature on the subject by analyzing musical production through a particular class analytical lens of political economy.

A first problem that has encountered many within political economy, specifically within its radical variant of Marxism, is how to understand music in relation to the social totality. In the first essay of this work I provide a critical review of the literature that approaches music through the "base-superstructure metaphor", a tool of analysis ...


Community Commons: An Analysis Of The Gullah Communities Of South Carolina, Elizabeth Brabec Jun 2013

Community Commons: An Analysis Of The Gullah Communities Of South Carolina, Elizabeth Brabec

Elizabeth Brabec

Descended from slaves brought to the southeast United States between the early 17th and mid 19th centuries, the Gullah-Geechee of South Carolina and Georgia in the United States, have developed distinctive, culturally-expressive creole communities. Juxtaposed against their ancestor’s plantation slave villages, present-day settlements reveal deliberate creations of community and strong connections to place. The Gullah concept of place and community also includes an understanding of the land as commons that is at odds with the dominant culture in the United States.Under slavery the Gullah lived in rigidly geometric settlements. Although this was the only settlement pattern the slaves ...


The Good, The Bad, And The Benevolent Interventionist: U.S. Press And Intellectual Distortions Of The Latin American Left, Kevin Young May 2013

The Good, The Bad, And The Benevolent Interventionist: U.S. Press And Intellectual Distortions Of The Latin American Left, Kevin Young

History Department Faculty Publication Series

U.S. journalists and commentators have helped popularize the image of two distinct Latin American lefts: a “bad” left that is politically authoritarian and economically erratic and a “good” left that is democratic and committed to free-market economics. This binary image oversimplifies the Latin American left in three ways: by overstating the contrast between the two alleged camps, by ignoring complex realities within each camp, and by exaggerating the failings of the so-called bad-left governments. The distinction makes sense, however, as a strategy for countering the rise of independent left-leaning governments in Latin America. Binary characterizations of subordinate peoples reflect ...


A Multidirectional Memory Approach To Representations Of Colonization, Racism, And Genocide In Literature, Pamela Lagergren Williams May 2013

A Multidirectional Memory Approach To Representations Of Colonization, Racism, And Genocide In Literature, Pamela Lagergren Williams

Open Access Dissertations

Directed by: Professor James E. Young This dissertation explores where historical memories concerning colonization, genocide, and racism intersect, merge, and overlap in multidirectional ways. The text opens by exploring the possibilities of using a multidirectional model of world history and then moves to a discussion of certain aspects of world political history that interrogates why some nations have dominated others. The focus then shifts to England's attitude toward perceived "others" in the crucial late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries by examining contemporary theater drama. From there, the text moves on to current voices that have spoken out against the ...


"Finding The Proper Sequence": Form And Narrative In The Collage Music Of John Zorn, Adam John Kolek May 2013

"Finding The Proper Sequence": Form And Narrative In The Collage Music Of John Zorn, Adam John Kolek

Open Access Dissertations

This dissertation examines the linear sequence of segments in musical collages composed by John Zorn between 1988 and 1993. In addition to the use of processes and associations as unifying elements, these pieces present hierarchical organization and narrative structure. The presence of form and narrative in these works illustrates the capacity of postmodern music to be unified in novel and idiosyncratic ways.

I examine Zorn's collage pieces using an adapted methodology of paradigmatic analysis and incorporate ideas of musical topics as signifiers of delineation in the works. The segmentation of these works, begun in chapter three, reveals a hierarchical ...


The Plausibility Of Moral Error Theories, Casey Alton Knight May 2013

The Plausibility Of Moral Error Theories, Casey Alton Knight

Open Access Dissertations

The project that resulted in this work had two main goals. The first was to sort out the most plausible form of the moral error theory, the view made popular by J.L. Mackie in his Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong. Second, I aimed to determine the extent of its plausibility. The first three chapters of this dissertation are the result of my attempt to accomplish the first goal, and the last two chapters are a consequence of the second. In the end, I argue that the most plausible version of the error theory (viz., Richard Joyce's development of ...


The Reflexive Scaffold: Metatheatricality, Genre, And Cultural Performance In English Renaissance Drama, Nathaniel C. Leonard May 2013

The Reflexive Scaffold: Metatheatricality, Genre, And Cultural Performance In English Renaissance Drama, Nathaniel C. Leonard

Open Access Dissertations

The critical discussion of metatheatre has historically connected a series of reflexive dramatic strategies - like soliloquy, chorus, dumb show, the-play-within-the-play, prologue, and epilogue - and assumed that because these tropes all involve the play's apparent awareness of its own theatrical nature they all have similar dramaturgical functions. This dissertation, by contrast, shows that the efficacy derived from metatheatrical moments that overtly reference theatrical production is better understood in the context of restaged non-theatrical cultural performances. Restaged moments of both theatrical and non-theatrical social ritual produce layers of performance that allow the play to create representational space capable of circumventing traditional ...


Sweating Femininity: Women Athletes, Masculine Culture, And American Inequality From 1930 To The Present, Michella Mary Marino May 2013

Sweating Femininity: Women Athletes, Masculine Culture, And American Inequality From 1930 To The Present, Michella Mary Marino

Open Access Dissertations

Despite a long history of participation in sports, women have yet to gain equal access to this male-dominated realm. The national sports culture continues to regard them as marginal, if not invisible. For more than a century, women athletes have struggled against a subordinate status based on rigid definitions of female sexuality, an emphasis on white middle-class standards of beauty, and restrictive cultural expectations of motherhood. This dissertation, however, reveals a vital story of feminist women who have consistently stretched the boundaries of gender and have actively carved out their own identities as women, athletes, and mothers while playing an ...


Composing The African Atlantic: Sun Ra, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, And The Poetics Of African Diasporic Composition, James Gregory Carroll May 2013

Composing The African Atlantic: Sun Ra, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, And The Poetics Of African Diasporic Composition, James Gregory Carroll

Open Access Dissertations

This dissertation undertakes a comparative analysis of the musical, written, and spoken production of Sun Ra and Fela Anikulapo-Kuti with respect to the larger African Atlantic intellectual environment, situating the two artists as both shapers of an Atlantic intellectual culture as well as artists who were, in turn, shaped by that culture. Through a reading of their creative work, the dissertation argues that, even given the obvious cultural, temporal, and temperamental differences between Sun Ra and Fela, both artists' orientations toward musical composition and performance share similar preoccupations with the recitation of cultural memory and the dialogic creation of historical ...


The Hype Man As Racial Stereotype, Parody, And Ghost In Afro Samurai, Treaandrea Russworm Feb 2013

The Hype Man As Racial Stereotype, Parody, And Ghost In Afro Samurai, Treaandrea Russworm

English Department Faculty Publication Series

No abstract provided.


Concept-Based Teaching And Spanish Modality In Heritage Language Learners: A Vygotskyan Approach, Elena Guillermina Garcia Frazier Feb 2013

Concept-Based Teaching And Spanish Modality In Heritage Language Learners: A Vygotskyan Approach, Elena Guillermina Garcia Frazier

Open Access Dissertations

This study analyzed how six Heritage language learners at the university level gained conscious awareness and control of the concept of modality as revealed in student verbalizations (Vygotsky, 1998) throughout five different written communicative events. This work took place in the only course designed for Heritage language learners at a large public suburban university in the Northeast part of the United States.

Grammatical simplification in bilingual speakers is due to incomplete acquisition of Spanish, attrition or loss of an underused linguistic system (Lynch, 1999; Martínez Mira, 2009a, 2009b; Mikulski, 2010b; Montrul, 2007; Ocampo, 1990; Silva-Corvalán, 1990, 1994a, 1994b, 2003; Studerus ...


Racialized Spaces In Teacher Discourse: A Critical Discourse Analysis Of Place-Based Identities In Roche Bois, Mauritius, Elsa Marie Wiehe Feb 2013

Racialized Spaces In Teacher Discourse: A Critical Discourse Analysis Of Place-Based Identities In Roche Bois, Mauritius, Elsa Marie Wiehe

Open Access Dissertations

This eleven-month ethnographic study puts critical discourse analysis in dialogue with postmodern conceptualizations of space and place to explore how eight educators talk about space and in the process, produce racialized spaces in Roche Bois, Mauritius. The macro-historical context of racialization of this urban marginalized community informs the discursive analysis of educators' talk at school. Drawing on theories of race that call for the non-deterministic exploration of race relations as they occur in different contexts and times (Hall, 2000; Pandian & Kosek, 2003; Essed & Goldberg, 2000), I explore the spatial racialization of children in Roche Bois as a process specific to this township and its history. Engaging with Lefebvre's three-dimensional theorization of space (Lefebre, 1991) as well as the Discourse Historical Approach developed by Wodak and colleagues (Wodak & Reisgl, 1999), I draw on the micro-macro concept of identity construction "strategy" to study 1) how meanings of race play out as an amalgam of various thematic dimensions of schooling, culture, bodies, and work that are spatialized; 2) how meanings of place perpetuate or transform long-standing historical constructions of Creole identity in Roche Bois. The findings ...


Umass Amherst Collections 2013, Ludmilla D. Pavlova-Gillham, Elizabeth R. Dumont Jan 2013

Umass Amherst Collections 2013, Ludmilla D. Pavlova-Gillham, Elizabeth R. Dumont

Campus Planning Master Plans

During the Campus Master Planning effort the need to better understand and plan for the UMass Amherst collections was identified and an ad-hoc committee was created to help advance a better understanding of the existing collections and how best to plan for the future. The committee was comprised of Directors/ curators of campus academic collections, Campus Planning staff and other related campus professionals. The first task of the committee was to develop a basis for creating a planning framework for the academic collections. The Committee defined existing collections and set a framework and common language that enabled the classification and ...


Planning For Campus Collections 2013, Ludmilla D. Pavlova-Gillham, Elizabeth R. Dumont, Dennis Swinford Jan 2013

Planning For Campus Collections 2013, Ludmilla D. Pavlova-Gillham, Elizabeth R. Dumont, Dennis Swinford

Campus Planning Reports and Plans

During the Campus Master Planning effort the need to better understand and plan for the UMass Amherst collections was identified and an ad-hoc committee was created to help advance a better understanding of the existing collections and how best to plan for the future. The committee was comprised of Directors/ curators of campus academic collections, Campus Planning staff and other related campus professionals. The first task of the committee was to develop a basis for creating a planning framework for the academic collections. The Committee defined existing collections and set a framework and common language that enabled the classification and ...


Using Careless Speech For Careful, Well Crafted Writing--Whatever Its Style, Peter Elbow Jan 2013

Using Careless Speech For Careful, Well Crafted Writing--Whatever Its Style, Peter Elbow

English Department Faculty Publication Series

I write here to correct a common misreading of my work. I've not been fighting all these years just to make writing easier by loosening standards; I've been fighting to make writing better. Especially in my recent *Vernacular Eloquence*, I've been trying help people use their vernacular spoken language to produce writing that is nevertheless careful and excellent--to break out of the unclear, roundabout, or mashed-potatoes prose they so often produce when they try to write right.


On Dialogue Studies, Donal Carbaugh Jan 2013

On Dialogue Studies, Donal Carbaugh

Donal Carbaugh

The study of dialogue is a way to open several intellectual arenas for investigation while at the same time offering insights into multiple scenes of practical yet culturally diverse human practices. This article reviews several such arenas including studies of dialogue as a culturally distinctive form of communication, dialogue as an approach to understanding social practices, dialogic ethics, as well as dialogue as an integrative view of not only cultural practice but also natural environments. Throughout, dialogue studies are cast as a broad field with distinct disciplines within it, as holding deep value for understanding diversity in peoples’ practices, as ...


The Untiring Game, Yrene Santos, Isabel R. Espinal Jan 2013

The Untiring Game, Yrene Santos, Isabel R. Espinal

Isabel R Espinal

These are translations of most, but not all, the poems in the book El incansable juego, by Yrene Santos (Santo Domingo: Editorial Letra Gráfica: 2002). The poems that have not been translated were already translated elsewhere by others, according to the poet.


Syllabus: College Of Natural Sciences, Junior Year Writing, Deborah Mccutchen Jan 2013

Syllabus: College Of Natural Sciences, Junior Year Writing, Deborah Mccutchen

Sustainability Education Resources

CNS JYW is a multidisciplinary professional writing course. Every discipline comes complete with instructions on how to think, talk, and write in order to act like a member of that discipline and to recognize and comprehend others within that field. This writing course brings these distinctions to life by focusing on both formal and informal argumentative and technical writing for different genres and audiences. Writing intensive, the course presents the methods of inquiry, evidentiary procedures, genres, and text conventions that characterize the way scholars and professionals craft written texts. The course reinforces college-level vocabulary, critical analysis, and textual evidence and ...


Walks To Nowhere, Lauren Pleveich Jan 2013

Walks To Nowhere, Lauren Pleveich

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

This essay is an academic justification for a means of producing images explained mainly through ideas of experiential memory.


Corporeal Thresholds, Caroline Valites Jan 2013

Corporeal Thresholds, Caroline Valites

Masters Theses 1911 - February 2014

This text is a written articulation of my MFA thesis show entitled Corporeal Thresholds. It aims to share the poignant moments that inspired the work and contextualizes my practice within the framework of metaphysics and the phenomenology of perception. Specific topics include the body and the visceral, doubt and certainty, love and loss, and the defining spaces that influence our lives.