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Theses/Dissertations

Literature in English, North America

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Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


Narrating Preterition: Postsecularism, Analysis, And Gravity's Rainbow, Damian Borovsky Jan 2018

Narrating Preterition: Postsecularism, Analysis, And Gravity's Rainbow, Damian Borovsky

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Recent trends in literary discourse have identified the “postsecular” in fiction, reimaginations of spiritual traditions in particularly postmodern ways. Much analysis of the postsecular posits the postsecular in fiction as an affirmation of postsecular spirituality, and celebrates its ability to describe a world “reenchanted” in postmodernity. I argue that an analysis of the postsecular which has reenchantment as its conclusion terminates too quickly, and fails to account for the ideological locus of the postsecular utopic gesture. Postsecularism, on this account, points to alternative narratives that run counter to the dominant and oppressive historical narratives of modernity. Rather than posit a ...


The Inevitability Of Decay: Disability In Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea, Dominic Robin Jan 2018

The Inevitability Of Decay: Disability In Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man And The Sea, Dominic Robin

UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations

With his suicide in 1961, Ernest Hemingway seemingly cemented into place his legacy as the classic image of the able-bodied, masculine man; he was, to many, the anti-disability writer, the author who lived for ability, lost ability, and took his life once he realized no chance of regaining his ability existed. Such a narrative, however, ignores the truly complicated and dynamic shape his understanding of the body took. Through an analysis of The Old Man and the Sea, I examine the form this ideology of ability took at the end of his life when, like the novella’s protagonist, Santiago ...


Projecting Culture Through Literary Exportation: How Imitation In Scandinavian Crime Fiction Reveals Regional Mores, Bradley Hartsell Dec 2017

Projecting Culture Through Literary Exportation: How Imitation In Scandinavian Crime Fiction Reveals Regional Mores, Bradley Hartsell

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This thesis reexamines the beginnings of Swedish hardboiled crime literature, in part tracking its lineage to American culture and unpacking Swedish identity. Following the introduction, the second chapter asserts how this genre began as a form of escapism, specifically in Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö’s Roseanna. The third chapter compares predecessor Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep with Roseanna, and how Sweden’s greater gender tolerance significantly outshining America’s is reflected in literature. The fourth chapter examines how Henning Mankell’s novels fail to fully accept Sweden’s complicity in neo-Nazism as an active component of Swedish identity ...


Young Adult Literature: The Reality On The Page, Chelsea Elmore Nov 2017

Young Adult Literature: The Reality On The Page, Chelsea Elmore

Selected Honors Theses

The genre of young adult literature has grown from a didactic category made of problem novels and taboo themes into a mimetic vision of modern life by way of dystopian fiction. In my thesis, I will discuss the ways in which young adult literature has changed over time and what those changes will mean for its readers and its future as a genre. The first section will analyze three groundbreaking novels that have disrupted the previously established didactic mindset of young adult literature. The publication of such novels (The Catcher in the Rye, Are You There God? It’s Me ...


Exorcising Power, John Jarzemsky Oct 2017

Exorcising Power, John Jarzemsky

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

This paper theorizes that authors, in an act I have termed “literary exorcism,” project and expunge parts of their identities that are in conflict with the overriding political agenda of their texts, into the figure of the villain. Drawing upon theories of power put forth by Judith Butler, I argue that this sort of projection arises in reaction to dominant ideas and institutions, but that authors find ways to manipulate this process over time. By examining a broad cross-section of English-language literature over several centuries, this phenomenon and its evolution can be observed, as well as the means by which ...


Desire, Curiosity, And The Search For Truth In Proust, Moreno, And Bechdel, Santiago Parga Linares Sep 2017

Desire, Curiosity, And The Search For Truth In Proust, Moreno, And Bechdel, Santiago Parga Linares

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Marcel Proust’s influence on twentieth century literature is broad and has been well documented. This dissertation attempts a comparative reading of À la recherche du temps perdu that places it in contrast with Colombian writer Marvel Moreno’s 1987 novel, En diciembre llegaban las brisas, and Alison Bechdel’s 2006 comic memoir, Fun Home. Starting from a Deleuzian reading of the Recherche, this dissertation proposes the notion of the “proustian truth seeker”, a thematic and stylistic phenomenon which can be traced in all three writers. The characteristics of the truth seeker can be used to understand the ways in ...


The Voice As An Object Of Desire In The Work Of Ann Quin, Jennifer Komorowski Aug 2017

The Voice As An Object Of Desire In The Work Of Ann Quin, Jennifer Komorowski

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

This thesis is a discussion of the voice as an object of desire in the work of Ann Quin. In life Quin suffered from bouts of silence and after death her work was itself silenced; I believe investigating the voice as an object is a fitting way to think about her work. My first chapter discusses the object voice as a silent, interior voice using the concept of the voice which Mladen Dolar develops to expand on Jacques Lacan naming the voice as an object of desire. In the second chapter I continue my discussion of the object voice with ...


The Unkindness Of Strangers: Exploring Success And Isolation In The Dramatic Works Of Tennessee Williams, Chelsea Nicole Gilbert May 2017

The Unkindness Of Strangers: Exploring Success And Isolation In The Dramatic Works Of Tennessee Williams, Chelsea Nicole Gilbert

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This thesis aims to explore the theme of isolation in the dramatic works of Tennessee Williams using his essay “The Catastrophe of Success” as the base theory text. The essay attacks the American idea of success though an in-depth examination of the “Cinderella myth” that Williams claims is so prevalent in both Hollywood and American Democracy. Williams’ deconstruction of this myth reveals that America’s love for stories like it results the isolation of three groups: homosexuals, women and the physically disabled and terminally ill. Williams passes no judgment on his characters, instead showing their lives as they truly are ...


Breaking The Cycle Of Silence : The Significance Of Anya Seton's Historical Fiction., Lindsey Marie Okoroafo (Jesnek) May 2017

Breaking The Cycle Of Silence : The Significance Of Anya Seton's Historical Fiction., Lindsey Marie Okoroafo (Jesnek)

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation examines the feminist significance of Anya Seton’s historical novels, My Theodosia (1941), Katherine (1954), and The Winthrop Woman (1958). The two main goals of this project are to 1.) identify and explain the reasons why Seton’s historical novels have not received the scholarly attention they are due, and 2.) to call attention to the ways in which My Theodosia, Katherine, and The Winthrop Woman offer important feminist interventions to patriarchal social order. Ultimately, I argue that My Theodosia, Katherine, and The Winthrop Woman deserve more scholarly attention because they are significant contributions to women’s literature ...


The Library In Literature, Hannah Madelene Richter Livant Jan 2017

The Library In Literature, Hannah Madelene Richter Livant

Senior Projects Spring 2017

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Languages and Literature of Bard College.


Together We’Ll Make Magic: Exploring The Relationship Between Empathy And Literature Using Ruth Ozeki’S “A Tale For The Time Being”, Janet Lindsay Dinozzi-Houser Jan 2017

Together We’Ll Make Magic: Exploring The Relationship Between Empathy And Literature Using Ruth Ozeki’S “A Tale For The Time Being”, Janet Lindsay Dinozzi-Houser

Senior Projects Spring 2017

My project is devoted to untangling the often-misunderstood and misapplied subject of empathy, particularly as it relates to the reading process. I begin with a brief background of the term’s history and the debate surrounding its use by researchers in the fields of both Psychology and Philosophy of Mind. I then apply this critical understanding of a commonly invoked term to a close reading of contemporary novel A Tale for The Time Being by Japanese-American novelist Ruth Ozeki. Dedicated primarily to the fictional story of Nao Yasutani, a teenage girl struggling with her recent move back to Japan after ...


The Ecocritical Carnivalesque Of Mason & Dixon: Thomas Pynchon's Environmental Vision, Theodor Jack Hamstra Jan 2017

The Ecocritical Carnivalesque Of Mason & Dixon: Thomas Pynchon's Environmental Vision, Theodor Jack Hamstra

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Among American novelists since 1945, Thomas Pynchon ranks as one of the most accomplished, with arguably the most fully realized and profound visions of Postmodernity. Therefore, his absence from the field of Ecocriticism is alarming. The aim of my thesis is to demonstrate that Pynchon’s 1997 novel Mason & Dixon ought to be considered as an essential text of American environmental writing. My thesis triangulates the environmental vision of Mason & Dixon by highlighting its affinity with environmental literature on three overlapping levels: the specter of the ancient, the spectacle of the new during the Enlightenment setting of the novel, and ...


The American Pastoral Tradition And The Stories Of Breece D'J Pancake, Christopher Blackburn Jan 2017

The American Pastoral Tradition And The Stories Of Breece D'J Pancake, Christopher Blackburn

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

In the late twentieth century, Breece Pancake carried on the American pastoral tradition by both featuring and modifying characteristics of early American pastoral literature. Breece Pancake does not directly imitate his predecessors, but instead brings the spirit of the nearly 200-year-old tradition in which he participates to a twentieth-century audience. Part of the enduring relevance of the literature in the American pastoral tradition, including The Stories of Breece D’J Pancake, is that at the heart of these stories is a theme that has defined and continues to shape the American experience: the struggle with living in liminal spaces.


Between Life And Literature: The Influence Of Don Quixote And Madame Bovary On Twentieth-Century Women's Fiction, Victoria Tomasulo Sep 2016

Between Life And Literature: The Influence Of Don Quixote And Madame Bovary On Twentieth-Century Women's Fiction, Victoria Tomasulo

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This project demonstrates the influence of two foundational novels in the Western canon, Don Quixote and Madame Bovary, on twentieth-century British, Italian, and Anglo-American women’s fiction. Both novels illustrate the dangers and pleasures of literary influence. Stylistically innovative, they anticipated concerns that were of import to feminist literary critics in the seventies and beyond: the transformative power of the reading encounter, its normative and subversive effects on gendered identities, and the need of individual writers to liberate themselves from the shackles of literary convention. Drawing upon textual and paratextual evidence such as interviews, journal entries, and essays, I argue ...


“The Thing That Made Her Beautiful And Not Us”: Visible Identity And Postmodern Emotion In Contemporary American Fiction, Madeleine Kim Apr 2016

“The Thing That Made Her Beautiful And Not Us”: Visible Identity And Postmodern Emotion In Contemporary American Fiction, Madeleine Kim

Senior Theses and Projects

No abstract provided.


The New Reflexivity: Puzzle Films, Found Footage, And Cinematic Narration In The Digital Age, Jordan Lavender-Smith Feb 2016

The New Reflexivity: Puzzle Films, Found Footage, And Cinematic Narration In The Digital Age, Jordan Lavender-Smith

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

“The New Reflexivity” tracks two narrative styles of contemporary Hollywood production that have yet to be studied in tandem: the puzzle film and the found footage horror film. In early August 1999, near the end of what D.N. Rodowick refers to as “the summer of digital paranoia,” two films entered the wide-release U.S. theatrical marketplace and enjoyed surprisingly massive financial success, just as news of the “death of film” circulated widely. Though each might typically be classified as belonging to the horror genre, both the unreliable “puzzle film” The Sixth Sense and the fake-documentary “found footage film” The ...


A Passage From Brooklyn To Ithaca: The Sea, The City And The Body In The Poetics Of Walt Whitman And C. P. Cavafy, Michael P. Skafidas Feb 2016

A Passage From Brooklyn To Ithaca: The Sea, The City And The Body In The Poetics Of Walt Whitman And C. P. Cavafy, Michael P. Skafidas

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This treatise is the first extensive comparative study of Walt Whitman and C. P. Cavafy. Despite the abundant scholarship dealing with the work and life of each, until now no critic has put the two poets together. Whitman’s poetry celebrates birth, youth, the self and the world as seen for the first time, while Cavafy’s diverts from the active present to resurrect a world whose key, in Eliot’s terms, is memory. Yet, I see the two poets conversing in the crossroads of the fin de siècle; the American Whitman and the Greek Cavafy embody the antithesis of ...


Female Visions Of The City: An Exploration Of Urban Literature Written By Women, Leah Katherine Rabinowitz Jan 2016

Female Visions Of The City: An Exploration Of Urban Literature Written By Women, Leah Katherine Rabinowitz

Senior Projects Spring 2016

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Languages and Literature of Bard College.


Proto-Postmodernism: Constructing Postmodern Ethics Through Cold War Literature And Theory, Rock Lamanna Jan 2016

Proto-Postmodernism: Constructing Postmodern Ethics Through Cold War Literature And Theory, Rock Lamanna

Departmental Honors Projects

While postmodern theory and literature is typically viewed as either “anti-humanist” or a rejection of Humanism, this essay reconsiders these assumptions by exploring ethical questions in early postmodern novels and theory, referred to as “proto-postmodernism.” For proto-postmodernists such as Hannah Arendt, Albert Camus, Ralph Ellison, Joseph Heller, and Kurt Vonnegut, Humanism—the ethical framework that asserts a centered “self” and a collective “metanarrative” of human progress—causes and legitimates violence, yet in their theories and literature, they promote the humanist value of dignity in their critiques of modern ethics and politics. To examine this hybrid stance toward Humanism, the first ...


Southern Transfiguration: Competing Cultural Narratives Of (Ec)Centric Religion In The Works Of Faulkner, O’Connor, And Hurston, Craig D. Slaven Jan 2016

Southern Transfiguration: Competing Cultural Narratives Of (Ec)Centric Religion In The Works Of Faulkner, O’Connor, And Hurston, Craig D. Slaven

Theses and Dissertations--English

This project explores the ways in which key literary texts reproduce, undermine, or otherwise engage with cultural narratives of the so-called Bible Belt. Noting that the evangelicalism that dominated the South by the turn of the twentieth century was, for much of the antebellum period, a relatively marginal and sometimes subversive movement in a comparatively irreligious region, I argue that widely disseminated images and narratives instilled a false sense of nostalgia for an incomplete version of the South’s religious heritage. My introductory chapter demonstrates how the South’s commemorated “Old Time” religion was not especially old, and how this ...


Kenneth Koch's Postmodern Comedy Revisited, John Campbell Nichols May 2015

Kenneth Koch's Postmodern Comedy Revisited, John Campbell Nichols

Masters Theses

This thesis describes and analyzes the postmodern comedy of New York School poet, Kenneth Koch and discusses the changes this comedy underwent throughout his lengthy career. The thesis is divided into four chapters. Chapter I explains the aesthetic of the New York School of poets as contrasted to the dominant New Critical compositional aesthetic embodied by poets such as Robert Lowell in the mid-century United States. Chapter II develops Koch’s comedy as expressing an emergent postmodernism. Chapter III discusses the various aspects of Koch’s comedy, sampling poems from across his career. Chapter IV traces the development and maturity ...


Animal Poems, Elian Mota May 2015

Animal Poems, Elian Mota

Theses and Dissertations

A collection of formal, free-form, and hybrid poems dealing with themes of birth and death, nihilism, romance and sexuality, memory, language, and other aspects of the human animal.