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Full-Text Articles in Comparative Literature

Deconstructing Cultural Food Borders: The Creation Of New Latinidades In Latina Literature Through Consumption, Elizabeth Vigil Feb 2019

Deconstructing Cultural Food Borders: The Creation Of New Latinidades In Latina Literature Through Consumption, Elizabeth Vigil

Pathways: A Journal of Humanistic and Social Inquiry

This research explores contemporary Latinx literature to examine the way discourse about food is presented as a form of socio-cultural control through the demand for culturally regulated forms of consumption. Judgmental discourse in what is said about food, how it is said, and expected behaviors of consumption are tied to the creation of a collective Latinx cultural identity. This cultural identity and its expected authenticity revolve around eating foods that are considered static segments of Puerto Rican cultural tradition. It works to assess expectations of identity which are forced upon individuals. This investigation looks at how the refusal of cultural ...


Curando La Herida: Shamanic Healing And Language In Gloria Anzaldúa’S Borderlands/La Frontera, Estefany Lopez Feb 2019

Curando La Herida: Shamanic Healing And Language In Gloria Anzaldúa’S Borderlands/La Frontera, Estefany Lopez

Pathways: A Journal of Humanistic and Social Inquiry

This paper explores the influence of shamanic tropes and philosophy in Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. Shamanic philosophy holds that language can materially transform realities, and Anzaldúa applies this framework in her aesthetics. Anzaldúa uses metaphor to reimagine the border not as a partition but as a wound to be healed; this metaphor seeks to transform the U.S/Mexico relationship and undermine the oppressive discourse of US hegemony and white supremacy. Moreover, the intertextual and bilingual nature of the text performs the healing of the wound by generating a new language of mestizaje. These aesthetic tactics ...


Gendering Of Home And Homelessness In Latinx Literature, Maria P. Ahumada Feb 2019

Gendering Of Home And Homelessness In Latinx Literature, Maria P. Ahumada

Pathways: A Journal of Humanistic and Social Inquiry

This research interrogates the gendering of notions of home and homelessness using the theoretical framing of Anzaldúa in a critical analysis of the works of Sandra Cisneros in The House on Mango Street, and Helena Maria Viramontes' The Moths and Other Stories. The women in these narrative struggle with the societal expectations that are imposed on them through patriarchal ideals, which invade the spaces of their home. This framework can lead to a sense of outsiderness and feelings of homelessness within the home for women when they realize that they are being oppressed by a dominant culture.


On Being As Passage And Plurality Of Self: Postcolonial Caribbean Identity In Merle Hodge's Crick Crack, Monkey, Amanda González Izquierdo Feb 2019

On Being As Passage And Plurality Of Self: Postcolonial Caribbean Identity In Merle Hodge's Crick Crack, Monkey, Amanda González Izquierdo

Pathways: A Journal of Humanistic and Social Inquiry

This essay examines questions of home and identity in a postcolonial Caribbean context. Situating itself in the dialogue between continental philosophy and postcolonial theory, this research explores how identity formations are processes which negotiate fragmentary demands of being as well as the various ruptures and dislocations that are resultants of colonization. This paper proposes that in thinking of postcolonial identities, we must explicitly and necessarily consider multiplicity, alterity, diaspora, and interstitial spaces. Focusing on Merle Hodge's novel Crick Crack, Monkey, this essay thinks through protagonist Tee's process of becoming, a process which is fluid, dynamic, and never complete ...


Vestures Of The Past: The Other Historicisms Of Victorian Aesthetics, Timothy Chandler Jan 2019

Vestures Of The Past: The Other Historicisms Of Victorian Aesthetics, Timothy Chandler

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

The importance of history to Victorian culture, and to nineteenth-century Europe more generally, is readily apprehended not only from its historiography, but also from its philosophy, art, literature, science, politics, and public institutions. This dissertation argues that the discourse of aesthetics in Victorian Britain constitutes a major area of historical thinking that, in contrast to the scientific and philosophical historicisms that dominated nineteenth-century European intellectual culture, focuses on individual experience. Its starting point is Walter Pater’s claim that we are born “clothed in a vesture of the past”—that is, that our relation to ourselves is historical and that ...


Home Tongue Earthquake: The Radical Afterlives Of Yiddishland, Ariel Yeshoshua Resnikoff Jan 2019

Home Tongue Earthquake: The Radical Afterlives Of Yiddishland, Ariel Yeshoshua Resnikoff

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

HOME TONGUE EARTHQUAKE presents a case study (or test) of diasporic Ashkenazi translingual poetics in the twentieth- and twenty-first century, which inflects and re-accents Hebrew and English, among other national host languages. The transterritorial civilization of diaspora Ashkenaz spread in the late-nineteenth century from “Ashkenaz II” across disparate geographies—from the Americas to Ottoman Palestine, and beyond, via forced migration—and became, in the twentieth-century, the rhizomatic language space known as “Yiddishland”: a modernist shorthand for the prolifically scattered sites of stateless Yiddish culture situated, though never settled, across the globe. This dissertation traces the poetic and aesthetic relations between ...


The Spectral Nanyang: Recollection, Nation, And The Genealogy Of Chineseness, Zhou Hau Liew Jan 2017

The Spectral Nanyang: Recollection, Nation, And The Genealogy Of Chineseness, Zhou Hau Liew

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Decolonizing counter-narratives to Malaysia's official national history are insufficient to account for the complex legacies of nationalism in Malaysia, and its relationship with Chineseness, race, and colonialism. This dissertation close reads the fictional works of three contemporary Mahua (Malaysian Chinese) authors – Zhang Guixing, Ng Kim Chew and Li Tianbao – to argue that Mahua identity is haunted by a nationalistic Chineseness deriving from late 19th and early 20th century mainland China, which defines itself on the basis of an archaic, civilizational imaginary, with undertones of racial and cultural purity. This conditions Mahua political and cultural identity during flashpoints of Malaysian ...


“Une Réalité Plus Réelle Que Le Réel”: The Persistence Of Myth In Postwar French And Italian Fiction, Alison Marie Howard Jan 2017

“Une Réalité Plus Réelle Que Le Réel”: The Persistence Of Myth In Postwar French And Italian Fiction, Alison Marie Howard

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Interwar Europe was enamored of myth: adaptations of classical tales proliferated, anthropological research into so-called “primitive” mythology thrived, and movements ranging from psychoanalysis to surrealism bore myth’s undeniable imprint. But its reputation took a turn during World War II, and by the end of the war, myth had become synonymous with irrationality, violence, barbarism, and (most damning of all) fascism. At best, myth was dismissed as anachronistic or escapist; at worst, it was cited it as a serious political threat. Thus, most postwar European writers, especially those claiming to be politically “committed,” eschewed myth in order to avoid the ...


Takeshi Kaikō – 開高健(1930−1989), Cecilia S. Seigle Ph.D. Jan 2016

Takeshi Kaikō – 開高健(1930−1989), Cecilia S. Seigle Ph.D.

Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

It has been 27 years (as of 2015) since the death of Takeshi Kaikō, Japanese writer, novelist, essayist, journalist, and a recipient of many literary prizes. This essay comprises of correspondence between Kaikō and myself, which lasted for 14 years since I first wrote to him in 1972 from necessity to ask some questions on his novel “Darkness in Summer” (夏の闇), which I was translating. We became good friends. Many years later, his long-time editor and publisher commented that Kaikō evidently told me things that he never told his long-time editors. I told him that was because I was not ...


Aesthetics Of Sovereignty: The Poetic And Material Worlds Of Medieval Jainism, Sarah Pierce Taylor Jan 2016

Aesthetics Of Sovereignty: The Poetic And Material Worlds Of Medieval Jainism, Sarah Pierce Taylor

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

"Aesthetics of Sovereignty" explores how premodern religious communities employed narrative as a site to imagine ideal political worlds in ways that exceeded the capacity of formal philosophical and politico-theoretical discourse. Taking the Digambara Jain community of the ninth and tenth-century western Deccan as my primary focus, I argue that Jains theorized, modeled, and continually revised what it meant to be both a king and a Jain through literary and material improvisations with the narrative of the first Tīrthaṅkara Ādinātha (a genre known as the Ādipurāṇa). From the proposition that worldly sovereignty culminates in renunciation in Jinasēna’s Ādipurāṇa (c. 860 ...


Power, Sexuality, And The Masochistic Aesthetic From Sacher-Masoch To Kharms, Maya Vinokour Jan 2016

Power, Sexuality, And The Masochistic Aesthetic From Sacher-Masoch To Kharms, Maya Vinokour

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This project centers on what I call the “masochistic aesthetic,” which emerged as literature dovetailed with medicine and law in German-speaking Europe and Russia around 1900. I argue that incipient totalitarian societies instrumentalized art and literature to produce citizens who enthusiastically consented to painful social discipline — that is, political masochists. Masochistic narratives like Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs (1870), Anton Chekhov’s The Duel (1891), or Andrei Platonov’s Happy Moscow (1933-6) reflect the ethnographic attention to borderlands, regulation of the body, and indefinite delay of pleasure inherent in the imperial or totalitarian settings that engendered them. After ...


Personal Finance: Economic Citizenship And Financial Form In The Contemporary Novel, Laura Finch Jan 2016

Personal Finance: Economic Citizenship And Financial Form In The Contemporary Novel, Laura Finch

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

My dissertation, “Personal Finance: Economic Citizenship and Financial Form in the Contemporary Novel” theorises the novel’s engagement with the post-1970s financialisation of the economy from the ground up. Contrary to the dominant perception of finance as a turn away from the solidity of industry and production in favour of a realm of hyperbolic abstraction, finance capital emerges in this project as a thickly material concern. My writing follows the money, tracking the way that finance is routed through social forms: urban planning, philanthrocapitalism, migrant access to citizenship in global cities, and the fleshy finance of corporate nanotechnology. These material ...


Mimetologies: Aesthetic Politics In Early Modern Opera, Daniel Villegas Jan 2016

Mimetologies: Aesthetic Politics In Early Modern Opera, Daniel Villegas

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

In recent decades, mimesis has become a critical term for rethinking relationality, difference, and affect, reconsidered against the notions of artistic autonomy and representation. While music—and sound in general—seldom feature in these accounts, issues of musical autonomy and representation (aesthetic and political) in music studies have given way to a concern with immediacy, relationality, and vibration that bypass a revaluation of the discipline’s own accounts of mimesis, still understood largely as imitation. I propose a radical revision of mimesis away from its traditional understanding to bridge these various gaps and to reaffirm the necessity of thinking of ...


Documenting Disremembrance: Histories Of Loss In Contemporary Chinese Representation, Kimberly Schreiber May 2015

Documenting Disremembrance: Histories Of Loss In Contemporary Chinese Representation, Kimberly Schreiber

Undergraduate Humanities Forum 2014-2015: Color

In places like contemporary China, where legal adjudication for past wrongdoings is impossible, an aesthetic engagement with the experience of loss has become essential to activating these historical remains and undermining violent narratives of progress. Tracing several generations’ aesthetic responses to the Cultural Revolution, the Tiananmen Square Massacre, and the present day influx of global capital, I advocate for a specific type of aesthetic practice that elides the distinction between the documentary method and abstract practice. By deliberately conflating these categories I argue that these works are united in their quest to dismantle dominant ideologies, and undermine authoritative narratives by ...


Variable Format: Media Poetics And The Little Database, Daniel Scott Snelson Jan 2015

Variable Format: Media Poetics And The Little Database, Daniel Scott Snelson

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation explores the situation of twentieth-century art and literature becoming digital. Focusing on relatively small online collections, I argue for materially invested readings of works of print, sound, and cinema from within a new media context. With bibliographic attention to the avant-garde legacy of media specificity and the little magazine, I argue that the “films,” “readings,” “magazines,” and “books” indexed on a series of influential websites are marked by meaningful transformations that continue to shape the present through a dramatic reconfiguration of the past. I maintain that the significance of an online version of a work is not only ...


The Limits Of Literary Language: Linguistic Skepticism And Literary Experiment In Postwar Germany And Austria, Nathaniel Davis Jan 2015

The Limits Of Literary Language: Linguistic Skepticism And Literary Experiment In Postwar Germany And Austria, Nathaniel Davis

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation addresses the concurrent revival of experimental writing and linguistic skepticism in West Germany and Austria after 1945, concentrating on the work of Helmut HeiÃ?enbüttel, Konrad Bayer, Peter Handke, and Rolf Dieter Brinkmann. While the immediate postwar years gave rise to a germanophone literature that was largely intolerant of formal experimentation--due to widespread adherence to a neo-Sartrean model of littérature engagée and a restorationist return to classical form--certain writers began to oppose this aesthetic conservatism in the early fifties. Influenced by international avant-garde developments--from concrete poetry to the nouveau roman--they developed a new form of ...


Buried: The Defiant Unspoken In Emile Habiby's The Pessoptimist, Sarah Shihadah May 2014

Buried: The Defiant Unspoken In Emile Habiby's The Pessoptimist, Sarah Shihadah

Undergraduate Humanities Forum 2013-2014: Violence

Palestinian author Emile Habibi's 1974 novel, The Secret Life of Saeed the Pessoptomist, endures as both a political and an artistic milestone in the legacy of modern Arabic literature. A masterpiece of ironic narrative and social satire, Habibi's unconventional novel powerfully represents the absurdity of the post-1948 Palestinian experience defined by a nationalism that views them as antithetical. At once sobering and farcical, Habibi's novel illustrates the "open tragedy" of the Zionist project as seen by its victims. Through the tightly wound paradoxes of alienation, affiliation, imagination, and loss which both drive and haunt the novel, I ...


Vagrant Figures: Law, Labor, And Refusal In The Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World, Sarah Nicolazzo Jan 2014

Vagrant Figures: Law, Labor, And Refusal In The Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World, Sarah Nicolazzo

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

The archive of vagrancy is a counter-history of economic rationality. In seeking to catalogue and apprehend the non-laboring body, vagrancy law theorizes labor by tracking its refusal. While vagrancy laws had existed in England since the fourteenth century, vagrancy takes on new meaning in the eighteenth century, as labor becomes central to economic theories of value, emergent penitentiary institutions promote work as a mode of criminal rehabilitation, and transatlantic debates over slavery lend new urgency to the problem of defining "free labor." When legal, economic, and literary texts invoke vagrancy, they therefore ask a crucial question for this period: what ...


Ghostly Trajectories: The Supernatural Theme In Henry James And James Joyce, Melany Barr Apr 2013

Ghostly Trajectories: The Supernatural Theme In Henry James And James Joyce, Melany Barr

Undergraduate Humanities Forum 2012-2013: Peripheries

James Joyce and Henry James are brought together by a set of well-explored aesthetic and biographical similarities, namely their commitment to an elliptical, ambiguous style; their cosmopolitan, émigré lifestyles; and their frequent returns to their homelands in writing. In both authors' work, the questions of exile and nationality are often explored through supernatural devices, with such stories as "The Jolly Corner" and "The Dead" reaching their narrative climax through the appearance of a ghost. This suggests that the natural experience of exile contains something beyond realist or 'natural' notation, something that poses a representational problem solved through supernatural means. The ...


Peripheral Phenomena: The Colliding Evolution Of Darcy And Dracula, Elaine Ogden Apr 2013

Peripheral Phenomena: The Colliding Evolution Of Darcy And Dracula, Elaine Ogden

Undergraduate Humanities Forum 2012-2013: Peripheries

In this study, I examine aspects of Jane Austen, vampire fiction, and contemporary culture through the lens of vampire adaptions of Austen's work. Although a study of vampire fiction may seem peripheral to any serious study of Austen's novels, I contend that studying those adaptations is central to understanding Austen in modern culture, as her work is recycled and reapportioned. Vampire fiction's success in today's marketplace and the prevalence of modern vampire adaptions of Austen's work can reveal much about how the two disjointed parties have been united, and what it says about our culture ...


The Female Gaze In Contemporary Japanese Literature, Kathryn Hemmann Jan 2013

The Female Gaze In Contemporary Japanese Literature, Kathryn Hemmann

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

The female gaze can be used by writers and readers to look at narratives from a perspective that sees women as subjects instead of objects. Applying a female gaze to discourses that have traditionally been male-dominated opens new avenues of interpretation that are empowering from a feminist perspective. In this dissertation, I use the murder mystery novels of the bestselling female author Kirino Natsuo and the graphic novels of a prolific four-woman artistic collective called CLAMP to demonstrate how writers are capable of applying a female gaze to the themes of their work and how readers can and have read ...


"A Lock Upon All Conduct:" Modesty In German Courtly Literature (C. 1175-1220), Kathryn Ann Malczyk Jan 2013

"A Lock Upon All Conduct:" Modesty In German Courtly Literature (C. 1175-1220), Kathryn Ann Malczyk

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation examines notions of modesty in behavior and appearance as represented in romance and conduct literature of the German Middle Ages. I look to the Winsbecke poems and Thomasin von Zirclaria's Der Welsche Gast as representative samples of conduct literature, considering them alongside the four core courtly romances: Hartman von Aue's Iwein and Erec, Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan, and Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival. The project is guided by four central areas of inquiry. First, I investigate the "cleavage" between the two genres of romance and conduct literature, exploring the ways in which they cling to ...


The Maqã¢Mah As Prosimetrum: A Comparative Investigation Of Its Origin, Form And Function, Ailin Qian Jan 2012

The Maqã¢Mah As Prosimetrum: A Comparative Investigation Of Its Origin, Form And Function, Ailin Qian

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This study investigates the prosimetric style of a renowned contribution to Arabic narrative, the Maqâmât of Badî' al-zamân al-Hamadhânî (358-398/969-1008). Al-Hamadhânî's Maqâmât corpus contains fifty-two short tales that are centered on the words and deeds of a fictitious beggar hero. They are also characterized by a consistent alternation of rhymed prose (saj') and poetry. These two distinct features of the maqâmah genre were faithfully imitated by al-Hamadhânî's successors in the following millennium.

The origins of the maqâmah genre have sparked heated debates among scholars of Arabic literature ...


Transnational Modernisms: The United States, Mexico, And The Idea Of America, Edward Lybeer Jan 2011

Transnational Modernisms: The United States, Mexico, And The Idea Of America, Edward Lybeer

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation offers a bilingual analysis of the transnational co-formation of U.S. and Mexican cultural nationalisms in the 1920s and 1930s, and investigates the intra-hemispheric networks of modernist practice and exchange in the Americas. Drawing on a wide variety of materials (culturalist essays, poems, paintings, journals, etc.) from such diverse writers and artists such as Waldo Frank, Stuart Chase, John Dos Passos, Thomas Hart Benton, Alfonso Reyes, José Enrique Rodó, Diego Rivera, and Salvador Novo (among others), this project reconstructs the polydirectional process of cultural collaboration through which the gendered and racialized vocabulary of U.S. and Mexican nationality ...


Poetry And The Common Weal: Conceiving Civic Utility In British Poetics Of The Long Eighteenth Century, Anna Foy Aug 2010

Poetry And The Common Weal: Conceiving Civic Utility In British Poetics Of The Long Eighteenth Century, Anna Foy

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation pursues a twofold proposition: writers of the long eighteenth century widely presumed that poetry influenced the “common weal” (the common wellbeing, conceived as a national community); and this expectation guided poetic composition even at the level of strategy or “design.” I demonstrate this claim in a series of three case studies, each of which delineates an elaborate, intertextual dialogue in which rival authors developed divergent strategies for civic reform. My analysis emphasizes the category of poiesis (poetic making), negotiated within discursive conventions of neoclassical genres. Chapters 1 and 2 argue that two verse translators of The Works of ...


The Aesthetic Politics Of Hollywood's Chain Gang In Fdr's America, Margaret Hennefeld Apr 2006

The Aesthetic Politics Of Hollywood's Chain Gang In Fdr's America, Margaret Hennefeld

CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Mervyn Leroy’s 1932 film I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang functioned within a complex network of New Deal propaganda. This thesis analyzes the close connection between the film and its 1930s Great Depression American historical context through close readings of its visual and narrative politics. I divide this project into three parts: Chapter 1 explores Southern racial and penal histories through the lens of Frankfurt school theory; Chapter 2 demonstrates the ways in which pre-Code Hollywood business strategies structure the film’s representations of gender and transgression; Chapter 3 theorizes the film’s use of montage and ...


The Philosophy Of The Face And 20th Century Literature And Art, Bernard J. Rhie Jan 2005

The Philosophy Of The Face And 20th Century Literature And Art, Bernard J. Rhie

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation explores the importance of the human face in modern literature, philosophy, and art. "Meaning is a physiognomy," wrote Wittgenstein--quite literally, if somewhat cryptically--in the Philosophical Investigations. My project takes this remark seriously and begins, in chapters one and two, by reading Wittgenstein's discussion of aspect-seeing alongside recent work in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind in order to explain how we perceive mentality in the appearance of a human face. I then trace the surprising ways in which our ability to understand facial expressions informs not only the way we understand language, but also other minds ...


The Look Of The Book: Visual Elements In The Experience Of Reading From "Tristram Shandy" To Contemporary Artists' Books, Karen L. Schiff Jan 1998

The Look Of The Book: Visual Elements In The Experience Of Reading From "Tristram Shandy" To Contemporary Artists' Books, Karen L. Schiff

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

In the age of the novel, we read fiction sequentially and unselfconsciously. This practice requires us to ignore the materiality and appearance of books, for these factors disrupt narrative absorption. "The Look of the Book" explores specific books from England and America whose visual and material characteristics resist and redefine habitual experiences of reading prose. These specimens connect word and image in the book format, and they therefore resist the theories of critics since Gotthold Lessing that have separated visual and verbal modes.

Lessing's contemporary, Laurence Sterne, uses visual elements in Tristram Shandy (1760–67) to digress from the ...


Lost Keys: Text And Interpretation In Old Greek "Song Of Songs" And Its Earliest Manuscript Witnesses, Jay Curry Treat Jan 1996

Lost Keys: Text And Interpretation In Old Greek "Song Of Songs" And Its Earliest Manuscript Witnesses, Jay Curry Treat

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

The earliest extant interpretation of the entire Song of Songs is its Old Greek translation. A critical edition of the Old Greek text is provided in the format of the Computer Assisted Tools for Septuagint Study (CATSS) Variants Project. This is the first comprehensive critical edition of this text since 1823. It contains new or corrected collations of several manuscripts.

The collected evidence suggests that OG Song of Songs, as preserved for us in the witnesses, was a homogeneous translation, but continuously subject to revision in comparison to a multiform and changing Hebrew text. It was the work of a ...


Observing Women: Doris Lessing, Christa Wolf, Marguerite Duras, Andrew Jonathan Shields Jan 1995

Observing Women: Doris Lessing, Christa Wolf, Marguerite Duras, Andrew Jonathan Shields

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation uses a model of observation derived from Michel Foucault's "Discipline and Punish" to examine the relationship between writing and seeing in each of the writers discussed. The disciplinary model of the Panopticon, as Foucault outlines it, constructs a neutral observer, a figure supposedly "without qualities" but nevertheless implicitly male, in part because Western tradition has always constructed men as observers and women as objects of observation. But what happens when a woman takes up this observational position and attempts to become the subject of her own gaze? In "Prisons We Choose to Live Inside", Doris Lessing explicitly ...