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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Peregrinations: Walking the Story, Writing the Path in Euro-American, Native American, and Chicano/Chicana Literatures

Hamilton, Amy T January 2008 (has links)
This dissertation traces the act of walking as both metaphor and physical journey through the American landscape in American texts. Drawing together texts from different time periods, genres, and cultural contexts, I contend that walking is a central trope in American literature. Textual representations of traversing the land provoke transformation of the self recording the walk and the landscape in the imagination of the walker. The experience of walking across and through the heavily storied American land challenges the walker to reconcile lived experience with prior expectations.While many critics have noted the preponderance of travel stories in American literature, they tend to center their studies on the journeys of Euro-American men and less often Euro-American women, and approach walking solely as metaphor. The symbolic power of a figure walking across the American land has rightfully interested critics looking at travel across the continent; however, this focus tends to obscure the fact that walking, after all, is not only a literary trope - it has real, physical dimensions as well.Walking in the American land is more than the forward movement of civilization, and it is more than the experience of wilderness and wildness. In many ways, walking defines the American ideals of space, place, and freedom. In this context, this dissertation investigates the connections between walking, American literature, and the natural world: What is it about walking that seems to allow American writers to experience the land in a way that horses, cars, trains, and planes prevent? What about the land and the self is revealed at three miles an hour? In the texts I examine, walking provides a connection to the natural world, the sacred, and individual and cultural identity. I trace American responses to nature and cultural identity through the model of walking - the rhythm of footsteps, the pain of blisters and calluses, and the silence of moving through the wilderness on foot.

Grotesque Transformations and the Discourse of Conversion in Robert Greene's Works and Shakespeare's Falstaff

DiRoberto, Kyle Louise January 2011 (has links)
Grotesque Transformations and the Power of Conversion in Robert Greene's Work and Shakespeare's Falstaff contests readings of Greene's work as autobiography. Rather, it situates Greene's work and Shakespeare's Falstaff in the context of the battle between popular artists and Puritans over the grotesque in art. Taking the part of popular writers, Greene uses sacred parodies of Puritan ideology: grace, election, callings, and conversion narratives, in his late repentance and coney catching pamphlets, to mock Puritans in the carnivalesque style of early reform and to defend the grotesque in art. Critics have focused on Greene's repentance and religious conversion in his late repentance pamphlets as biography, missing these motifs as part of the Puritan satire that characterized Greene's work. Chapter one argues that in Greene's mock repentance, conversion, and rejection of the theater, Greene is mocking specifically the anti-theatrical Puritans Stephen Gosson and Philip Stubbes as hypocrites while drawing attention to Christianity's metamorphic ontology, its resurrections, conversions, and incarnations in defense of the theater. Chapter two contextualizes Greene among other popular writers engaged in the battle with Puritans over the carnivalesque in pastoral, especially Nashe and Jonson. It examines the Harvey brothers' and Edmund Spenser's construction of masculinity and their antifeminism as part of a Puritan anti-Ciceronian reform movement that attempted to purge popular culture of the grotesque, i.e., the erotic in feminine excess and the comedic pleasure in the grotesque body. Specifically, in chapter two, I look at the Puritan Harvey brothers' Plain Perceval, Pierce's Supererogation and Spenser's Shepherd's Calendar. My examination of popular writers include Greene's Quip for an Upstart Courtier, A Disputation, and Menaphon; Nashe's Pierce Penniless, Have with You to Saffron Waldon, and the epistle to Menaphon; as well as Jonson's fragment The Sad Shephard, Finally, in light of Greene's parody of Puritanism, his feminine disorder, and his theatricality chapter three examines Greene's influence on Shakespeare's Falstaff in the Henry plays and the Merry Wives of Windsor.

Translating Arthur: The Historia regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth and Roman de Brut of Wace

Molchan, George Gregory 05 September 2013 (has links)
This dissertation primarily focuses on re-presentations of the foreign others in the twelfth-century chronicles Historia regum Britanniae of Geoffrey of Monmouth and Roman de Brut of Wace of the Isle of Jersey. Geoffrey and Wace, I argue, deploy a number of strategies in their narratives regarding the Matter of Britain that mainly though not wholly work to reinforce hegemonic versions of history through dehumanizing and demonizing the others that inhabit their narratives. The strategies that Geoffrey and Wace deploy towards the inhabitants of their narratives, I contend, operate within a framework that both celebrates and defends the Normans pretensions to empire and subjugates the others whom they encounter in their desire to bring their ambitious plans to fruition. I position this framework in the colonial discourses that circulated in the texts being produced by the ecclesiastical communities of the twelfth century. I argue that these discourses point to a specific type of colonialism that flourished during the twelfth century that on the one hand facilitated the Normans pretensions to empire on multiple fronts and on the other hand expressed ambivalence towards some of the more brutal methods that the Normans employed to seize power, land and resources.


Pretorius, Marilize 16 July 2013 (has links)
This thesis investigates the effects of globalisation on identity formation and how this specifically impacts on the ability of the intellectual to function in Nigerian society as presented in three contemporary Nigerian novels. Chris Abaniâs Graceland (2004), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichieâs Half of a Yellow Sun (2006) and Sefi Attaâs Everything Good Will Come (2006) are examined in terms of the Afropolitan and Afrotransnational identities that Nigerians develop through their encounters with and participation in the globalising processes, namely through circulation and transformation (Ashcroft, 2009). These identities correlate with the extent to which intellectuals are able to address the right audience with a message relevant to their context and concerns and delivering this message effectively so as to affect a positive change in society as required by Said (1994). The degree to which intellectuals fulfil these three requirements determines whether they are labelled academics or vernacular intellectuals. The former consists of those intellectuals who exhibit an Afropolitan identity which often causes them to use predominantly western concepts and perspectives to define and explain African problems. They also seldom go beyond discussing and theorising the causes and effects of problems in Africa. Even when they are able to come up with solutions, they rarely translate this into practical intellectual activity with others. On the other hand, vernacular intellectuals exhibit Afrotransnational identities. Afrotransnational refers to the unique African expression of transnationalism that Africans, and specifically Nigerians in this case, develop as they consume and transform global products and ideas within the local. This enable intellectuals to draw from both western and African knowledge, perspectives and practices and combine them in a manner that allows them to work towards finding solutions for African problems. Vernacular intellectuals are also able to meaningfully engage a wider audience in a manner that mobilises them to take action that subverts and resists oppression. The Nigerian context with its militarypowered dictators complicates the function of the intellectual as they disallow active participation by members of society in the public sphere. Intellectuals, and indeed all member of society, are consequently forced to either remain silent in the face of injustice and oppression, making them complicit; taking revolutionary action in speaking the truth to power, which puts their lives at risk; or finding alternative ways of resisting oppression. Functioning as vernacular intellectuals is further complicated for women in Nigeria. Like their male counterparts, they too have to fulfil all three Saidâs (1994) requirements and have to overcome the effects of dewomanisation (Sofola, 1998) which renders them unable to effectively engage with womenâs issues in Nigeria due to their western education. The development of an Afrotransnational identity enables them to combine the knowledge and practices from both sides of the urban and rural divide to address womenâs issues. Women also have particular challenges in negotiating this divide between the urban, modern and rural, traditional spaces in Nigeria. Patriarchal society still imposes certain limitations on womenâs role in the home and society which affects the extent to which they are allowed to function as vernacular intellectuals. Women can find ways of liberating themselves from the limitations of motherhood and the kitchen by using these to their own advantage, but the use of customary law alongside civil law still disempowers women to a large extent in Nigeria. It is imperative that men and women collaborate in allowing women the freedom to function as intellectuals in both the public and private spheres.


Rambiritch, Avasha 27 August 2013 (has links)
This study is concerned with transparency, accessibility and accountability as regulative conditions for a postgraduate test of academic literacy. What it will propose to do is investigate how these can be incorporated into the design of one test, the Test of Academic Literacy for Postgraduate Students (TALPS), and theoretically accounted for in terms of a framework. A main focus is to show that the questions raised here about the social dimension of language testing cannot be adequately answered by experts in the field like Messick (1989b; 1996), Bachman and Palmer (1996), and Kunnan (2000; 2004). Instead these questions can be answered in a âthird idea, other than validity and usefulnessâ (Weideman 2009a: 239), as outlined by Weideman, an idea that does not foreground one concept but rather identifies a number of fundamental considerations for language testing. The argument here is that construct and other empirically based forms of validity are not enough to validate a language test and that what is needed, in addition, is a detailed look at issues of transparency, accessibility and accountability. This study begins by contextualising the problem of poor academic literacy and outlining the need for academic literacy tests such as the Test of Academic Literacy Levels (TALL) and TALPS. This is followed by an in-depth study of previous work in the field of language testing. The literature on key concepts such as validity, reliability, accessibility, transparency and accountability is surveyed as well. An important part of this study is telling the story of TALPS from its initial conceptualisation to its final implementation. Included in this is a detailed study of the reliability and validity of the test, taking the form of a validation argument. Subsequent chapters (5, 6 and 7) focus specifically on issues of transparency, accessibility and accountability as they relate to TALPS. This study would not be complete without the voices of the test takers. A detailed summary of the data collected from a questionnaire administered to students who wrote TALPS is offered as well. The questionnaire has been designed to elicit information, comments, questions and reactions from the testees about the test. The final chapter in this study will attempt to provide a summary of the answers to the important questions that have been asked and answered in the course of this investigation. It will also consider the link between transparency, accessibility and accountability, and will focus briefly on other conditions in the framework that contribute to the design of fair and socially acceptable tests. This study hopes to make a contribution to the field of language testing by concentrating on an area of testing that has been largely ignored â the social dimension. One of the aims of this study is to show the complementarity among the empirical, social and ethical dimensions of TALPS. It therefore provides a framework that incorporates a concern for the empirical analyses of a test as well as a concern for the social dimensions of language testing. Test developers are challenged to consider important questions related to every aspect of the test, leading to the design of fair, accessible tests that are designed by test developers who are willing to be accountable for their designs.


Mendoza, Kirsten Noelle 24 June 2014 (has links)
Othello by William Shakespeare exists in two early printed versions, as a 1622 Quarto and a 1623 Folio. Despite their differences, they have only recently been regarded as two distinct plays worthy of their own interpretations. While critics have discussed the intertwining ideologies of morality and color, Leah Marcus expands upon the existing scholarship by arguing that the Folio includes textual variations which far more explicitly racialize Othello as a black Moor. In this thesis, I argue that the Folios intensified racialization of Othello and increased voyeuristic descriptions of female sexuality specifically function to demonstrate not only the Venetian community darkening and victimizing Desdemona, as suggested by critic Laura Bovilsky, but Desdemonas active desire to be blackened. This text depicts Desdemona claiming a paradoxical virtuous blackness that balances her rebellion against her father with acts of submission and underscores her transition from a virginal daughter to a sexually mature and rhetorically persuasive woman. The polarizing syllogisms that differentiate white virginity from black promiscuity cannot reconcile Desdemonas transgressive assertions. When Othello accuses her of adultery, the Folio intimates her momentary loss of faith in the erotic and liberating potential of blackness. However, in her utmost state of abjection, Desdemona realigns herself with the dark other by representing her inner state through the rhetoric of the Barbary maid. In the rejection of her native hue, Desdemona manifests the complexities of a womanhood that is inherently othering and necessarily darkening, a complexity that asserts her feminine will through her desire for blackness.

Gathering Thinglessness: Samuel Becketts Essayistic Approach To Nothing

Marks, Dena 02 October 2014 (has links)
My dissertation, Gathering Thinglessness: Samuel Becketts Essayistic Approach to Nothing, responds to the dominant strand in Beckett criticism that figures the writer as a philosopher of nothing whether of Democritean, existentialist, or deconstructionist voids. In contrast, I argue that Becketts literary texts approximate philosophy in their essayistic style, characterized by the incorporation of multiple, contradictory sources in a fragmented form. While philosophical analyses are often designed to demonstrate that the literary texts are the equivalent of philosophical discourse, in the first chapter I argue that they actually serve to re-subordinate literature to philosophy since they depend on the pre-existing philosophical text to explain the literary one. In the second chapter, I review twentieth-century theory on the relationship between the fields to substantiate the point that the border between literature and philosophy remains unresolved since many of Platos original characterizations of poetry persist in varied forms. Since the question of the relationship between literature and philosophy is such a broad one, I then take a turn to examine nothing, a concept/image that is shared by both fields of thought to understand where Becketts use of the term fits on a continuum between the two fields. In chapter three, I argue that, contrary to a longstanding argument that Beckett proffers a consistent position on the nature of being as nothing, Becketts actually incorporates multiple, inconsistent philosophical positions on nothing into his work. In chapter four, I focus on Becketts aesthetic influences to demonstrate that his primary contribution to intellectual history was not to make an original argument about nothing, but to alter the formal properties that are conventionally associated with the word. In the final chapter, I conclude that Becketts aggregation of inconsistent philosophical and aesthetic sources and his adoption of a fragmented structure mirror the form of the Montaignian essay in the sense that it reflects the movements of an ever-shifting mind. In that way, Becketts writing falls on a continuum next to philosophy since his work adopts the style of the essay but also remains distinct from systematic thought.

A Digital Ulysses for the Errant Reader: Joycean Encyclopedism and the Encyclopedic Web

Phelan, James 28 July 2014 (has links)
James Joyce scholars in the 1990s and early 2000s tried, without much success, to use hypertext to improve upon existing annotations of Ulysses. Joyce's estate put a freeze on such work in 2003. Now that Ulysses has entered the public domain in most of the world, it seems feasible to return annotating it digitally. We are now much better equipped to do it. Hypertext was the wrong technology for the job. It's determinate, where the novel is polysemous and encyclopedic, and it inevitably disrupts reading. Google's reorganization of the Web into a kind of encyclopedia, the growth of the online archive, and the pervasive adaptation of habits of attention to those developments have brought us past those limitations. On today's teeming, "Googlized" Web, Ulysses can be opened up to its referential surroundings by readers for whom making searches and wandering in the network are second nature. This exploratory, elective distraction is a form of reader-directed annotation that seems in keeping with the spirit of the novel, which we might identify with Bloom's errant, encyclopedic curiosity. Digitally-minded Joyce scholars would do well to focus on improving and enriching the technology and archive that enable it.

Primary Source

Peltier, Ronald Edmund 25 April 2017 (has links)
During the now-fabled election season of 2016, a meme appeared, fleetingly, and made its rounds through the various social media channels. The meme was a snapshot of one of those customizable, plastic-letter signs usually associated with snarky Protestant churches and old-fashioned movie theaters. The sign read, Beware the beast Hildabeast Clinton and its vagenda of manocide. This message made me wonder what that vagenda would look like and how such a large-scale genocide of the masculine sex would function in an ostensibly all-female society. This thesis is the ill-formed child of that forbidden fantasy. Through various strategies and modes, these poems reflect the refusal of sense-making expressed by that original meme. Their respective hybrid strategies emulate the various permutations of ideology as it is spoon-fed to every person, especially in infancy and during adolescence at institutions of learning. As the thesis developed, the idea of cannibalism became more pronounced, and for this reason the document is structured jarringly and without section titles or consistent forms. This seemingly haphazard structure mirrors the process of grinding up meat for use in hamburger, for example. These poems perform on the mind the processes performed on livestock to make them palatable for consumption. Instead of metal and plastic, these euthanasia machines are made of ill-formed and binary notions of gender.

"Wells's Martians as Godwin's Future Humans: A Critique of Human Perfectibility in the Darwinian Era"

Braham, Kira Renee 22 November 2016 (has links)
In H.G. Wellsâs 1897 novel The War of the Worlds, England is invaded by monstrous Martians who have giant brains and virtually no bodies. The narrator speculates that these bodiless beings are a highly-evolved species that was once much like humans but had become more physiologically efficient with the aid of technology, eliminating the troublesome need to eat, have sex, or sleep. The energy saved from this increasing bodily efficiency was channeled into the creation of an intellectually superior race. This thesis argues that Wells developed his Martians as a critique of neo-Lamarckian socialists who employed the evolutionary theory of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck to argue that human nature could biologically evolve to become less competitive. Wells, who was dedicated to an interpretation of Darwinism linked to the social theory of Thomas Malthus, argued that human nature was fundamentally shaped by the bodily struggle for survival and would remain âobstinately unchangeable.â This thesis argues that Wells returns to the debate between Malthus and William Godwin at the end of the eighteenth century, drawing a parallel between the potential for human perfectibility proposed by Godwin and the ethical evolution of the neo-Lamarckian socialists. In doing so, Wells undermines the scientific validity of the latterâs theories by associating them with pre-Darwinian utopian speculation.

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