Recent Submissions

  • Shorebirds and other stories

    Amore, Martha; Coffman, Chris; Evans, Mei Mei; Lampman, Claudia; Brightwell, Gerri (2020-05)
    Shorebirds and Other Stories is a collection of original feminist gothic short fiction set in Alaska. A critical introduction to the creative portion situates the work within the historical context of feminist gothic literature, feminist theory, and contemporary feminist psychology, while rejecting an application of Julia Kristeva's theory of the abject. Kristeva's theory is commonly cited in gothic analyses of female monsters, but this introduction argues that her ideas position women in an essentialist, misogynist Freudian-based psychology, which is in stark contrast to feminist gothic literature's project of asserting women's subjectivity. Each short story in the creative portion reflects themes of maternal subjectivity, ambivalence, or abortion, while drawing inspiration from classic and contemporary feminist gothic literature. Moreover, the collection includes works of realism and the fantastic, the former genre revealing the deep humanity of women deemed monstrous by a patriarchal society, while the latter celebrates radical feminist difference in such monstrous tropes as the vampire, werewolf, and witch. In the tradition of feminist gothic literature, Shorebirds and Other Stories features "monstrous" women as protagonists, offering their perspectives, histories, complex emotions, and perseverance in the struggle for subjecthood.
  • Author as ethnographer: The merging of genres in Raymond Carver's and Thomas Pynchon's texts

    Snyder, Megan Dawn; Bird, Roy K. (1999)
    Several of Raymond Carver's short stories and two of Thomas Pynchon's novels are analyzed for their ability to function as ethnography, through which they reveal the dominant and dominated codes in American culture. These texts were approached from an interdisciplinary stance, using theories and concepts from literary criticism, cultural anthropology, and sociology in order to interpret them with a greater degree of accuracy; because the text is treated as an ethnographic representation of a culture, it is possible to turn to it as the sole illustration of cultural elements and, in doing so, to be more open to addressing themes that the text explicates, rather than approaching the it with a preconceived agenda of what necessarily constructs American culture. By focusing in this manner on Carver's and Pynchon's texts as accounts of what is to be "American," it is possible to remain closer to what the texts portray and to avoid misreadings as well as misinterpretations of culture. Through these authors' representations of characters who defy mainstream cultural codes, the reader encounters in these authors' works what mainstream America finds most unsettling: characters who are not only alienated, but also aware of their status as outsiders and, more frequently than not, choose to embrace deviance in their self-definitions. Carver and Pynchon, when taken together, afford the reader with a vision of our culture that explores the dissociation and alienation that cuts through our society regardless of class or background. In their varying presentations of reality, they offer complementary views of distinct American subcultures that feature characters who are isolated and who generally denounce mainstream ideals. Conformist society is merely hinted at within the texts; its presence appears through its absence, characters' recognition of what they are denying, and what characters are denied. Both authors feature characters who identify aberrant behavior, for which rule-breaking individuals are labeled. Characters, once labeled, adopt secondary deviance and instigate a deviant career, from which the authors rarely permit a reprieve. The effect of labeling is the creation of a schism in the social fabric of American culture, which is characterized by the societal exclusion of individuals who do not uphold the dominant beliefs. American culture is also characterized by assimilation; as characters in Carvers and Pynchon's texts resist this process, they pose a threat to the social order, which is the prime factor in their labeling.
  • Shudder: Poems And Essays On Cancer, Care, And Healing

    Mohatt, Nathaniel Vincent; Burleson, Derick (2011)
    This book chronicles my journey in understanding and coming to terms with my father's illness and death. In 2005 he was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), and in 2008 I traveled with him to the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. In 2010 he died suddenly after his cancer transformed into an aggressive form of large cell lymphoma. The introductory personal essay ties together the trip to MD Anderson with writings from poetry and psychology, chronicling my experience with cancer care. The essay unveils an intimate relationship between art, the creation and experience of beauty, the provision of health care, and the meaning of healing. Like art, health care and healing are experienced in "the attempt," the process of trying to attain (health or beauty) without the ability to realize perfection. The poems weave together visions from the MD Anderson trip, other encounters with cancer, and pieces of my family's life after his death with a wide variety of images, memories, characters, and spirits. The poems begin with scenes and people from MD Anderson, then move to poems about coming into sense, discovery of the internal wild, and preparation for a time of sorrow. The later poems grapple with understanding the disease and my father's relationship with illness and conclude with in a continuation of "the attempt" even after death.
  • Margaret Keenan Harrais: A Biography In Four Voices

    Doetschman, Sarah; Carr, Richard (2011)
    Narrative strategies available to biography are explored through the life of Margaret Keenan Harrais---teacher, educational administrator, judge, and activist. Biography is a particular endeavor requiring flexible inquiry and creative presentation. Margaret is viewed through multiple lenses that explore personhood, encourage readers' introspection, and imply the importance of the individual in history. The four voices indicated in the title of this dissertation are editorial, analytical, sparsely Romantic, and expository. This biography aims to complicate readers' notions of what it means to be a person in relation to other people by focusing closely on selected episodes in Margaret's career; analyzing their historical, social, and literary import; and finally broadening the perspective to include the entirety of Margaret's life. The roles of the biographer and the reader are examined throughout in an attempt to explore the interconnections between biography and autobiography. Margaret's life is presented within the contexts of other women teachers in rural areas, as well as other men and women who wrote about territorial Alaska for a non-Alaskan audience. At heart this biography seeks to experiment with the narrative possibilities available to biographers, and to explore the ways in which the effects of these narratives allow for the contribution to general scholarship on the basis of particular experiences.
  • Inconstant Endeavors: The Elusiveness Of The Anti-Heroine

    Williamson, Lianne; Bird, Roy K.; Burleson, Derick; Coffman, Christine; Weiss, David; Vettel-Becker, Patricia (2009)
    The anti-heroine is a difficult woman to define. The intent of this project was to find the markers and signifiers for the character of the anti-heroine. Only recently, with modernism and then post-modernism, has the equation of beauty = woman started to change. What has occurred is the opposite, the grotesque. How are female artists using the grotesque to open up the possibilities for how women are allowed to act? Although women are now being allowed, in film, to DO what men do, i.e. kill people, they are still coming across in stereotypically female ways. The women are still beautiful, they use violence, they have to be more manly than men. How has second and third wave feminist theory opened up the realm of writing about the bitch? In the past decade literally thousands of books have been written with "bitch" in the title. Is the "bitch" the same thing as the anti-heroine? In the creative part of the dissertation, I have attempted to write a multi-faceted anti-heroine who isn't necessarily a bitch, doesn't participate in violence, has a sense of humor, and is writing about both female and feminist subjects. The critical essay looks at literary influences on my writing and my own definition of the anti-heroine. My research has shown that the anti-heroine is an extremely elusive character and is quite different from the male anti-hero. What we can say is that she defies stereotyping, is a complex creation, may or may not be beautiful, and acts rather than reacts.
  • A World Of Difference: Emma Wolf, A Jewish-American Writer On The American Frontier

    Mandel, Dena Toni Cooper; Schuldiner, Michael (2008)
    "A World of Difference: Emma Wolf, A Jewish-American Writer on the American Frontier" is the first dissertation to undertake a scholarly inquiry of Wolf's Jewish novels, Other Things Being Equal and Heirs of Yesterday. Emma Wolf (1865--1932) was a Jewish-American literary pioneer who interrogated prevailing models of late nineteenth-century femininity, Judaism, and bifurcated, Jewish-American identity. This study retrieves the fiction of this native Californian from the margins of both Jewish and American literature. At the close of the nineteenth century, nearly all interest in American-Jewish life focused on the Eastern European Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side of New York City. Emma Wolf's fiction imparts a singular glimpse of a Western American enclave of Jewish life. Remarkably, Wolf's Jewish novels resist the prevailing patterns of assimilation espoused by most Jewish writers at the end of the century. Instead of abandoning culture, faith, and family, Wolf embraces Jewish particularity. The preservation of Jewish identity in Wolf's fiction is a consequence of her American birth, her California origins, and her conviction that Jewish difference is as important as American conformity. Other Things Being Equal (1892) scrutinizes the struggle of a young Jewish woman who wants to marry a Christian. In sanctioning intermarriage, the novel abrogates religious precepts and contravenes the customary marital patterns of Jewish women. The implications of intermarriage afford Wolf the opportunity to expand on issues of Jewish affirmation and Jewish difference. In Heirs of Yesterday (1900) Wolf examines divergent responses of Jewish-Americans to anti-Semitism. In order to protect himself from discrimination, Dr. Philip May hides his Jewish birth. Wolf suggests that Jews who are forgetful of their ethnic identity are as misguided as the segment of American society that discriminates against them. This study of Emma Wolf's Jewish novels concludes that we must take a new literary census, one that embraces minority writers, like Emma Wolf, in order to appreciate the pluralism of the American literary canon and the full panoply of the nation's cultural productivity.
  • Language Switching On English Compositions Of Latino Students In Alaska And Puerto Rico

    Jimenez-Lugo, Edna; Burleson, Derick (2007)
    The main objective of the research described in this dissertation was to explore how English second language (ESL) writers used their first language (L1) when composing in their second language (L2). This task was undertaken by identifying participants according to their L2 (English) proficiency level, Latino ethnic subgroup, and generational status. Another objective of this study was to better understand the writer's perspective regarding first language use in L2 writing, referred to as language-switching (L-S) in this study. Eight high school Latinos were recruited in Fairbanks, Alaska, and a group of twenty-three college-level participants in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. Participants were asked to complete a self-report questionnaire, provide a writing sample, and participate in a guided focus group discussion. Findings indicated that participants with low L2 proficiency were more likely to switch languages at the lexical level than participants at an intermediate or advanced level of English proficiency. Switching languages from English to Spanish at the lexical level was of no benefit for text coherence. Lack of L2 linguistic competence was a contributing factor for switching to the L1 as participants compensated for L2 difficulties with their L1 knowledge at the morphological, syntactical, and semantic level. A qualitative analysis of the focus group data suggests that thinking in the L1 is a common strategy for ESL learners, which they perceive to be an advantage for generating ideas faster and to decide what to write. However, participants' perceived writing text in the L1 for later content translation to be counterproductive. An important factor that cannot be discounted and that may have contributed to the language switching frequency among the participants in this study is the learning contexts: learning English in the U.S. versus learning English in Puerto Rico. Additional research is needed to explore the relationship between language switching and learning context. I conclude this dissertation by suggesting pedagogical implications regarding L2 writing instruction and for placement of L2 learners in ESL programs.
  • Cheechako Teacher: Narratives Of First -Year Teachers In Rural Alaska

    Carter, Stephen Ruben; Bird, Roy (2006)
    Seventy percent of teachers in rural Alaska come from the lower 48, most having little to no introduction to the culture they are entering or what will be asked of them as teachers. The turnover rate of teachers in rural Alaska far outstrips the national average; in some rural districts turnover is nearly 100 percent each year. This leads us to conclude that the first year of teaching in rural Alaska must be highly charged experience. Though many studies have been done on first-year teachers in rural Alaska, none has focused on the teachers' personal writings produced while in the midst of their experience. This study is a narrative inquiry into the first-person accounts of first-year teachers in rural Alaska from 1896 to 2006. The study constructs "plot points" (meaning events and tensions that drive the teachers' narratives) that delimit the structure of the average first-year Alaskan teacher story. The accounts are divided into two sections: historical accounts and contemporary accounts. Each of these sections is divided according to a series of plot points, namely: (1) the decision, (2) the arrival, (3) the first day of school, (4) collisions, (5) integration, and (6) effectiveness (historical section only), and (7) the final decision (contemporary teachers only). The study points out the similarities and contrasts between historical accounts and contemporary accounts and seeks to bring these into dialogue with Alaska-specific pedagogical theories. The study concludes that the utility of first year teachers' writings is not derived from their prescriptions, but their descriptions. Thus, the study recommends (1) that more first-person written narratives be gathered from first-year teachers in rural Alaska to facilitate a more in depth study, (2) that new teachers in Alaska avail themselves of the written narratives of their professional forebears, (3) that Alaska's public education system create room for first-year teachers to tell their stories in non judgmental settings, and (4) that future study also focus on perceptions of first-year teachers by their students and village.
  • TEST Older Theses Not Clearly Affiliated with a Current College 9/25/17

    CHISUM (2017-09)
    TEST Older Theses Not Clearly Affiliated with a Current College 9/25/17
  • Variations on a theme: the Benjy section of 'The sound and the fury' in black and white, color and hypertext

    Porter, Thomas Albert (2000-05)
    The Benjy section of William Faulkner's 'The sound and the fury' presents reader's with a shattered chronology. Meaning, in the original, arises from the reader's internal creation of a linear chronology, the internal linking of discreet events into larger sequences of events. Applying color to the section along chronological lines allows for the reader to assemble a more coherent chronology of the section internally by allowing for more easily intuited links. Transforming the Benjy section into a hypertext incorporates the links between Events directly. These three variations, black and white print, color print, and hypertext all demonstrate and highlight different aspects of the section's inherent complications, as well as demonstrating that the original text's abandonment of traditional narrative time was a serious and direct challenge to the medium of print itself.
  • "The winter's tale": Leontes' derangement and the chronotope of melancholy

    Wood, David Houston (2000-05)
    To recent critical formulations regarding melancholy and its role in the Renaissance humoral body, this project contributes the argument that melancholy's trajectory from its natural to its unnatural state carries with it a fundamental shift in temporal-senses. I illustrate this shift through close analysis of Leontes' derangement in Shakespeare's 'The winter's tale.' Based on Renaissance physiological texts, as well as modern psychoanalytic, anthropological, and gender studies, I explore how melancholy's inherent volatility signifies the masculine anxieties of early modern English patriarchy. I argue that melancholy's bifurcated temporal-senses serve to clarify the subjectivity of Renaissancee passions.
  • Women, culture, and identity in Kate Chopin's 'The awakening' and Assia Djebar's 'Ombre sultane'

    Hutchison, Shayle M. (2000-12)
    Beginning with the assumption that women of all cultures experience a conflict between their culturally prescribed gender roles and their individual sexual desires, I comparie the characters Edna Pontellier of Kate Chopin's 'The Awakening' with Isma and Hajila of Assia Djebar's 'Ombre Sultane.' Each woman undergoes a process of awakening body consciousness that leads to her first experience of desire, an essential link between physical and mental consciousness. The expression of female desire conflicts with prescribed cultural behavior. Each character also moves away from her family and cultural roots, thus assuring herself a necessary distance for rebellion against social standards. However, of all three women, only Isma from 'Ombre Sultane' is able to return to her community, successfully resolving the conflict between gender and individual desire.
  • Where everything is music: the influence of Arthur Schopenhauer on Frederic and Kate Chopin

    Oakley, Bernard H. (2000-05)
    The influence of Arthur Schopenhauer's aesthetic philosophy on Harold Frederic's "The damnation of Theron Ware" and Kate Chopin's "The awakening" is studied. Although Chopin's indebtedness to Schopenhauer is well established, the influence on Frederic's novel has not yet been revealed. This thesis develops "original readings of 'The damnation of Theron Ware' that challenge and clarify existing interpretations."
  • A search for identity in the narrative maelstrom: a psychoanalytic approach to Ishmael in Moby-Dick

    Williamson, Kim Christopher (2002-12)
    'Call me Ishmael.' This opening line has confronted many a wary student first opening Moby-Dick. This thesis also confronts this line, by way of the enigma that is the narrator of the novel. Critics have long noted the fragmented nature of Moby-Dick, especially its oddly varying points of view. The book opens with a homodiegetic narrator telling a sea adventure tale, but by the end is dominated by a heterodiegetic narrator telling the story of Ahab's tragedy. Using classic Freudian psychology and some Lacanian theory, this thesis makes a case for the complexity and importance of Ishmael in the structure and theme of the novel. Dividing the book into separate narratives representing Ishmael's ego, super-ego, and id, this thesis argues that Ishmael develops from a naive, green sailor into an experienced whaleman with a healthier coherent personality. It is in the telling of the story that he is finally able to manifest this healthier personality.