Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Modern Literature Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

English Language and Literature

Theses/Dissertations

Institution
Keyword
Publication Year
Publication

Articles 1 - 30 of 190

Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

Topics Of The Sky: Ashbery's Involving Search For The Poem, Tom M. Carlson Jun 2020

Topics Of The Sky: Ashbery's Involving Search For The Poem, Tom M. Carlson

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

An essay lived by John Ashbery's Three Poems with special attention to the possibility of cosmic relevance. This paper attempts to imagine priorities and needs proper to celestial bodies. Three Poems is the consciousness that gives possibility to the text, while Blanchot, Nietzsche, and other thinkers ground its exploration in philosophical analysis.


Death Positivity: A New Genre Of Death And The Genre Function Of Memento Mori, Melony Elsie Del Real Jun 2020

Death Positivity: A New Genre Of Death And The Genre Function Of Memento Mori, Melony Elsie Del Real

Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations

This article explores Caitlin Doughty’s “death positivity” as an evolved form of the medieval memento mori, and how this medieval genre serves as a genre function for current day thanatophobic audiences. This is specifically done by analyzing Doughty’s book titled Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, as well as some of her other death positivity mediums. By modeling her rhetoric of death positivity after memento mori, Doughty can effectively deliver her anti-death fearing message to the very audiences that fear death.

Furthermore, analyzing Doughty’s rhetoric as operating within the genre function, a concept put forth by Anis Bawarshi ...


Dissecting The Man Of Steel: The Evolution Of Superman As A Reflection Of American Society, Marie Gould Apr 2020

Dissecting The Man Of Steel: The Evolution Of Superman As A Reflection Of American Society, Marie Gould

Undergraduate Theses

Since his debut during the Great Depression in 1938, Superman has become an American cultural icon. His symbol is not only known throughout the nation, but the world as well. Despite this, many consider Superman to be irrelevant and unrelatable to reality because he is written as an outrageously overpowered being with “boy scout” morals. However, he has not always been written this way. This research seeks to uncover the connections between Superman’s various narratives and the changing social and political ideas of American Society throughout history. Specifically, the objective of this study is to establish whether Superman has ...


Diasporic Strangers In The Mirror: Ever-Evolving Identity And The Immigrant Experience, Meriam Metoui Dec 2019

Diasporic Strangers In The Mirror: Ever-Evolving Identity And The Immigrant Experience, Meriam Metoui

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

This text explores the disparity between immigrant parents and their American born or raised children and show the chasm of misunderstanding between generations navigating different national and cultural contexts found in novels such as The Joy Luck Club, The Namesake, Americanah, and Everything I Never Told You.


A New Man: Feminist Utopias And The Representation Of Alternative Masculinities, Michael Pitts Dec 2019

A New Man: Feminist Utopias And The Representation Of Alternative Masculinities, Michael Pitts

Theses and Dissertations

Challenges to traditional American gender scripts, initiated by feminist activists and theorists in the twentieth century, necessitate the reconceptualization of manhood. Central to contemporary feminist texts—both creative and theoretical—is the overt rejection of patriarchal femininities. In envisioning a non-separatist society in which such new ideals of femininity are welcomed, feminist authors simultaneously outline new masculinities suitable for such an egalitarian polity. Feminist works envisioning the improved society and its attending masculinities are therefore invaluable sources for scholars within masculinity studies searching popular culture for improved conceptions of manhood. Responding to the so-called crisis of masculinity, scholars within masculinity ...


The Gendering Of Death Personifications In Literary Modernism: The Femme Fatale Symbol From Baudelaire To Barnes, Amanda Mcnally Dec 2019

The Gendering Of Death Personifications In Literary Modernism: The Femme Fatale Symbol From Baudelaire To Barnes, Amanda Mcnally

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The time of modernity, defined here as 1850-1940, contributed to massive changes in the representation of the feminine in literature. Societal paradigm shifts due to industrialism, advances in science, psychology, and a newfound push for gender equality brought transformation to the Western World. As a result of this, male frustrations revived the ancient trope of the femme fatale, but the modern woman—already hungry for agency, tired of maligned representation in heinous portrayals of skeletons, sirens, and beasts—saw a symbol begging for redemption rather than the intended insult. Women of the nineteenth century infused texture to a two-dimensional accusation ...


A Sense Of Unending: Apocalypse And Post-Apocalypse In Novels Of Late Capitalism, Brent Linsley Aug 2019

A Sense Of Unending: Apocalypse And Post-Apocalypse In Novels Of Late Capitalism, Brent Linsley

Theses and Dissertations

From Frank Kermode to Norman Cohn to John Hall, scholars agree that apocalypse historically has represented times of radical change to social and political systems as older orders are wiped away and replaced by a realignment of respective norms. This paradigm is predicated upon an understanding of apocalypse that emphasizes the rebuilding of communities after catastrophe has occurred. However, in the last half-century, narratives that emphasize the destruction of human civilization without this restorative component have begun to overshadow the more historically popular post-apocalyptic models that were particularly abundant during the early days of the Cold War. In light of ...


Spirit Don't Ever Die: Apocalypse And Denial In An Infinite Universe, Nathan Riggs Aug 2019

Spirit Don't Ever Die: Apocalypse And Denial In An Infinite Universe, Nathan Riggs

Theses and Dissertations

In The Great Derangement, Amitav Ghosh catalogs contemporary fiction’s failure to adequately engage with catastrophic climate change. In this thesis, I argue the engagement problem has a century-old analogue in fiction’s approach to entropy. Entropy was among the first secular apocalyptic modes in mainstream discourse, and this investigation of authors’ approaches to its portrayal provides a model for understanding fiction’s denial or acceptance of apocalypse. I first examine William Hope Hodgson’s 1912 novel The Night Land, a far-future tale set in a post-solar Earth. I contend that Hodgson’s centering of the human experience prevents him ...


Gender In Apocalyptic California: The Ecological Frontier, Marykate Eileen Messimer Aug 2019

Gender In Apocalyptic California: The Ecological Frontier, Marykate Eileen Messimer

Theses and Dissertations

Climate change is the consequence of ideologies that promote human reproduction and resource consumption by sacrificing human justice, nonhuman species, and the land. Both biology and queer ecologies resist this notion of human separation and supremacy by showing that no body is a singular, impermeable entity, that all beings are biologically and inexorably connected. My dissertation demonstrates that fiction writers use this knowledge to locate a utopian vision that can counteract the dystopian impotence of living within climate change. This argument is founded on novels written by women and set in California, a state that uniquely inhabits a utopian and ...


Looking At Shadows: Four French Texts In English Translation, Kalena M. Hermes Jun 2019

Looking At Shadows: Four French Texts In English Translation, Kalena M. Hermes

World Languages and Cultures

This project present four French texts in English translation that share the theme of loss. This theme is perhaps one of the most poignant and relevant; loss is an experience that every human will encounter, and as people we continue across time to grapple with what it means for us and how to deal with it. These four texts will bring the perspectives of four authors to light in English. When we study how other countries and cultures deal with common human issues, we are able to gain new views on these issues. This project will make these texts accessible ...


John Gardner’S Grendel: The Importance Of Community In Making Moral Art, Catherine C. Cooper May 2019

John Gardner’S Grendel: The Importance Of Community In Making Moral Art, Catherine C. Cooper

University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations

John Gardner’s Grendel examines the ways in which humans make meaning out of their lives. By changing the original Beowulf monster into a creature who constantly questions the conflicting narratives set before him, Gardner encourages us to confront these tensions also. However, his emphasis on Grendel’s alienation helps us realize that community is essential to creating meaning. Most obviously, community creates relationships that foster a sense of moral obligation between its members, even in the face of the type of uncertainty felt by Grendel. Moreover, community cannot exist without dialogue, which perpetually stimulates the imagination to respond to ...


“To Be Men, Not Destroyers”: Developing Dabrowskian Personalities In Ezra Pound’S The Cantos And Neil Gaiman’S American Gods, Michelle A. Nicholson May 2019

“To Be Men, Not Destroyers”: Developing Dabrowskian Personalities In Ezra Pound’S The Cantos And Neil Gaiman’S American Gods, Michelle A. Nicholson

University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations

Kazimierz Dabrowski’s psychological theory of positive disintegration is a lesser known theory of personality development that offers an alternative critical perspective of literature. It provides a framework for the characterization of postmodern protagonists who move beyond heroic indoctrination to construct their own self-organized, autonomous identities. Ezra Pound’s The Cantos captures the speaker-poet’s extensive process of inner conflict, providing a unique opportunity to track the progress of the hero’s transformation into a personality, or a man. American Gods is a more fully realized portrayal of a character who undergoes the complete paradigmatic collapse of positive disintegration and ...


The Color Of Invisibility, Bryan A. Vanmeter May 2019

The Color Of Invisibility, Bryan A. Vanmeter

University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations

This thesis is an analysis of Ralph Ellison’s use of color terminology in his novel, Invisible Man. By taking an in depth look at the circumstances in which Ellison uses specific color terms, the reader can ascertain the author’s thoughts on various historical events, as well as the differences between characters in the novel such as Ras, Dr. Bledsoe, and Rinehart.


Coming To Terms With Gonzo Journalism : An Analysis In Russian Formalism., Beau Kilpatrick May 2019

Coming To Terms With Gonzo Journalism : An Analysis In Russian Formalism., Beau Kilpatrick

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Gonzo journalism is notoriously difficult to define because of its ambiguous nature. To date, scholarly definitions focus on historical interpretations of Gonzo’s content, its connection to social and political contexts, or the biography of Hunter S. Thompson. These definitional attempts neglect the formal devices of the composition. This thesis aims to redefine Gonzo as its own genre by using the nearly forgotten methods of Russian formalism—specifically the works of Victor Shklovsky, Vladimir Propp, and Boris Tomashevsky—to analyze the formal devices and components of its form. The results are twofold; first, it acts to rejuvenate an unpopular literary ...


You Can Go Home Again: The Misunderstood Memories Of Captain Charles Ryder, Monica M. Krason Jan 2019

You Can Go Home Again: The Misunderstood Memories Of Captain Charles Ryder, Monica M. Krason

ETD Archive

Critics have frequently commented on the nostalgic tone of Brideshead Revisited. Their assessment has been largely negative, with most considering Brideshead too sentimental about England’s aristocratic past. This current characterization fails to recognize Waugh’s critiques of such thinking in Brideshead, wherein he upends the nostalgic tropes of popular Oxford novels, illustrates the dangers of both insulated upper class living and thoughtless presentism through his depictions of various characters, and proposes a greater metaphysical drama through memory is at play in the novel. Brideshead offers nostalgia as an enlivening force which allows Charles Ryder to maintain a vibrant understanding ...


How The “Ploughman Poet” Jumpstarted Highlandism:, Allison Ward Jan 2019

How The “Ploughman Poet” Jumpstarted Highlandism:, Allison Ward

All Regis University Theses

Begging the question of how the Scottish society has been reduced and commercialized to the romanticized, Scottish fantasy we see Scotland as today because of a process labeled ‘Highlandism’. The eighteenth-century poet Robert Burns became the focal point because of the impact of his major role in this creation and spread of this Sottish fantasy. Burns used his poetry as a method of delivery to sell nostalgia for a fictional, romantic, and exotic Scotland that had been created from symbols once associated with the Highlands to a now global audience.

Breaking down the historical, economic, and cultural shifts occurring around ...


Ohio Women Writers Inspire In Ya: A Study Of Three Authors, Their Most Recent Young Adult Texts, And Their Paths To Publication, Genevieve Wadge Jan 2019

Ohio Women Writers Inspire In Ya: A Study Of Three Authors, Their Most Recent Young Adult Texts, And Their Paths To Publication, Genevieve Wadge

Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects

In this project, I will explore the world of YA literature and publishing with a focus on three female authors, Dr. Julie Drew, Rachele Alpine, and Colleen Clayton, and will use their most recently published young adult literature books to further reinforce my research. I will focus on how those texts fit into or go against the current canon of YAL, what common themes these stories touch on, how an adolescent reader might relate to the story and the characters, and other nuances of the texts.


"Woven Into The Deeps Of Life": Death, Redemption, And Memory In Bob Kaufman's Poetry, Peter Davis Jan 2019

"Woven Into The Deeps Of Life": Death, Redemption, And Memory In Bob Kaufman's Poetry, Peter Davis

Pomona Senior Theses

The scholars who have taken up the task of writing about Bob Kaufman have most often done so in response to a perceived demand: the lack of Kaufman scholarship, readership, anthology, publicity, canonization. The basis of this need is clear: Kaufman is almost never included as even a third-string Beat, a fringe Surrealist, or an underappreciated Jazz performer. To the committed readers of Kaufman – and almost all of his readers seem to be committed ones – it’s unforgivable. These various canons, major (mid-century American poets, Beat poets) and minor (Jazz poets, American Surrealists), are clearly missing one of their most ...


The Revolt Against Mourning: Woolf, Joyce, Faulkner, And Beyond, Andrew Leo Beutel Jan 2019

The Revolt Against Mourning: Woolf, Joyce, Faulkner, And Beyond, Andrew Leo Beutel

Theses and Dissertations--English

The Revolt against Mourning calls into question the widespread critical alignment of literary modernism with Freudian melancholia. Focusing instead on “mourning,” through close readings of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, James Joyce’s Ulysses, and William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, I demonstrate how their depictions of this notion overturn both its traditional and contemporary understandings. Whereas Freud conceives mourning as a psychic labor that the subject slowly and painfully carries out, Woolf, Joyce, and Faulkner convey it as a destabilizing, subversive, and transformative force to which the subject is radically passive. For Freud, mourning is a matter ...


The Desire To Escape And The Inability To Follow Through In James Joyce’S Dubliners, Alyssa M. Wheatley Dec 2018

The Desire To Escape And The Inability To Follow Through In James Joyce’S Dubliners, Alyssa M. Wheatley

University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations

In my research, I will examine James Joyce’s Dubliners as a collection of stories that is unified by an ongoing theme; escape or the desire to escape. In the collection, the want or need to escape serves a major purpose throughout the characters and their lives. This thesis explores five stories that share this theme in particular: “The Sisters,” “Eveline,” “Araby,” “An Encounter,” and “The Dead.” Each story will be discussed in the context of how each story progresses from a want to an actual escape. In addition, the thesis also considers how these stories exhibit a progression towards ...


The Return Of The Dead: Resurrecting Chappell's Family Gathering, Jonathan Moore Dec 2018

The Return Of The Dead: Resurrecting Chappell's Family Gathering, Jonathan Moore

Master's Theses

This thesis examines Fred Chappell’s virtually overlooked collection of poetry Family Gathering (2000), and how the poems operate within the mode of the grotesque. I argue that the poems illuminate both the southern grotesque and Roland Barthes’s theory of photography’s Operator, Spectator, and Spectrum. I address Family Gathering as a family photo album full of still shots, snapshots, and even selfies, which illumines how Chappell’s use of the grotesque in this collection derives more from its original association with visual arts rather than only depicting the grotesque typically associated with characteristics deemed explicitly shocking or terrifying ...


The Persistence Of The Past Into The Future: Indigenous Futurism And Future Slave Narratives As Transformative Resistance In Nnedi Okorafor's The Book Of Phoenix, Ellen Eubanks Dec 2018

The Persistence Of The Past Into The Future: Indigenous Futurism And Future Slave Narratives As Transformative Resistance In Nnedi Okorafor's The Book Of Phoenix, Ellen Eubanks

Theses and Dissertations

In recent years, a number of authors have written science fiction works that express the concerns and experiences of marginalized people groups, including those in postcolonial societies, Indigenous/First Nations peoples, and other racial minorities. These works provide counter narratives to that of much canonical science fiction, which developed from narrative forms that often explicitly and implicitly supported colonial ideologies, and still often includes these ideologies today. This thesis analyzes the way The Book of Phoenix (2015) by the NigerianAmerican speculative fiction author Nnedi Okorafor uses a combination of the forms of Indigenous futurism and what Isiah Lavender terms meta-slavery ...


Immortal Melancholia: A Psychoanalytical Study Of Byronic Heroes, Kathryn Frazell Dec 2018

Immortal Melancholia: A Psychoanalytical Study Of Byronic Heroes, Kathryn Frazell

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

This culminating project examines Byronic heroes using psychoanalytic theory across four case studies in media, including classic literature, theater, film, and television. The Byronic hero is a literary archetype inspired by the poet George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824). Typical characteristics include angst, arrogance, cunning intelligence, criminality, desire, passion, dominance, and otherness. The characters I have chosen to study include Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre (1847), the Phantom from the 2004 film The Phantom of the Opera, James Bond from the 2012 film Skyfall, and Damon Salvatore from the hit television series The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017). Through examining the actions of ...


Waging War On The Womb: Women’S Bodies As Nationalist Symbols And Strategic Victims Of Violence In Susan Abulhawa’S Mornings In Jenin, Noora Badwan Aug 2018

Waging War On The Womb: Women’S Bodies As Nationalist Symbols And Strategic Victims Of Violence In Susan Abulhawa’S Mornings In Jenin, Noora Badwan

Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs)

Nationalism is a patriarchal construct that clearly delineates women’s roles in the social structure, and assigns female bodies specific roles in the nationalist, social, and political narratives, albeit passive ones; ironically, as integral to nationalism as women are, they are only ever pawns used by the state, never equal participants. They are often assigned the role of the mother figure who produces new citizens to populate the nation and who are expected to raise them to be “good citizens” and offer them up to the state as potential tools. The mother figure is a nationalist icon who is also ...


Creating Herstory: Female Rebellion In Arundhati Roy’S "The God Of Small Things" And "The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness", Priyanka Tewari Aug 2018

Creating Herstory: Female Rebellion In Arundhati Roy’S "The God Of Small Things" And "The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness", Priyanka Tewari

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

In The God of Small Things and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness novels, the author Arundhati Roy is not only attempting to give feminist weight to the multiplicity of locations in which gender is articulated by recasting her female characters in their quest for selfhood, she is also focusing on women and women-identified characters as agents of history, thereby contributing to an ongoing project of feminist historiography.


Double/Cross: Erasure In Theory And Poetry, John Nyman Jun 2018

Double/Cross: Erasure In Theory And Poetry, John Nyman

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

This dissertation investigates the implications of overt textual erasure on literary and philosophical meaning, especially with reference to the poststructuralist phenomenological tradition culminating in the work of Jacques Derrida. Responding both to the emergence of “erasure poetry” as a recognizable genre of experimental literature and to the relative paucity of serious scholarship on Derrida’s “writing under erasure,” I focus on twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary and philosophical works in which visible evidence of erasure is an intended component of the finished (i.e., printed and disseminated) document. Erasure, I argue, performs a complex doubling or double/crossing of meaning according ...


Of The Silmarils And The Ring: J. R. R. Tolkien's Fiction And The Importance Of Creation And Art, Michael Hartinger May 2018

Of The Silmarils And The Ring: J. R. R. Tolkien's Fiction And The Importance Of Creation And Art, Michael Hartinger

Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

J. R. R. Tolkien embodies the opposing ideals of Enchantment and the Machine in the Silmarils and the One Ring respectively. These created objects oppose each other just as Tolkien’s ideals of art do. Enchantment is art’s ideal, it's purpose is to glorify and enrich the beauty of reality through subcreation. The Silmarils exhibit the delight of making and perceiving beauty. Whereas the Machine is art’s shadowy reflection that utilizes apparatuses or devices rather than personal talent in order to coerce others and reality itself. Overall Tolkien's aesthetic theories reflect many fears surrounding modern attitudes ...


Who Died: Redefining The Elegy Through Affect And Trauma, Brittney La Noire May 2018

Who Died: Redefining The Elegy Through Affect And Trauma, Brittney La Noire

Graduate Master's Theses, Capstones, and Culminating Projects

This project introduces the claim that death literature, specifically elegies and epitaphs, do not rely on set structure or content, but rather are poetic effects of trauma and affect. Both have been defined and redefined by critical scholars, but there is still a division about their use. The beginning of the project will pull together Paul De Man, Cathy Caruth, Theresa Brennan, and Diana Fuss to apply the theoretical principle of trauma and affect transhistorically through Theocritus, John Milton, and Percy Shelley. The final portion will be an original creative collection of elegies combined with epitaphs as ending couplets about ...


Modern American Cover Art: The Great Gatsby Through Time, Jessica Harrell Apr 2018

Modern American Cover Art: The Great Gatsby Through Time, Jessica Harrell

Senior Theses

Book jackets and cover art are, more than anything, an advertising tool used to attract consumers, promote book sales, and establish company identity. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is a staple in the canon of American literature whose cover art has drastically transformed in the ninety years since its original publication. This thesis traces these changes over time, focusing specifically on publishing history, art history, American culture, and thematic interpretations. In doing so, I found that the most substantial influences on these covers were publishing house identity, design trends, and available artistic techniques. Ultimately, The Great Gatsby’s ...


Memory In Memoir & Biography: Science, Place, And Agency, Johnathan E. Longo Feb 2018

Memory In Memoir & Biography: Science, Place, And Agency, Johnathan E. Longo

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This thesis explores modern scientific understanding of memory in humans and how it affects works of life writing. Scientific research shows that memory is unreliable and often misunderstood by the general public, and this has implications for different forms of life writing. This paper uses biographies, memoirs, and hybrid forms of life writing to explore how memory, with all its limitations, is used in service of a life story. How do writers of these sub-genres use memory and why are those strategies different from one another? Questions of agency and authority over written and spoken material make the issues still ...