• 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.
    • 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.
    • Living A Tattooed Life: The Female Experience

      Cleveland, Kara G.; Brown, Jin (2008)
      The present research is rooted in Human Science, and employed the epistemology of Constructionism, as well as the theoretical perspective of Social Construction of Reality. I used Narrative Inquiry as methodology and conversational interviewing as my method of collecting data. I interviewed six women who provided narratives of their lived experience of constructing their identities through tattoos. Three emergent themes, along with three sub-themes, are discussed in regards to the lived experiences of tattooed women: (1) becoming tattooed constructs who you are; (2) becoming tattooed develops relational identity with (a) friends, (b) the tattoo community, (c) family; and (3) the communication of "tattoo remorse" is differentiated from an earlier recognition of tattoo regret. This research provides insight into the lived human experience of tattooed women through their own natural language.
    • 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.
    • Maybe An Answer Is In There: Life Story In Dialogue

      Carroll, Jennifer L. L.; Schneider, Bill (2010)
      This dissertation explores the ways in which Gwich'in women's lives have changed over the past century through the life story and historical and cultural reflections of Vera Englishoe, a Neets'qii Gwich'in woman in her late 50s from Venetie and Fort Yukon. Vera's story illustrates one woman's pathway through changing times and provides an example of resilience in the face of family and community turmoil. This work also shows how Vera uses stories to sustain herself and others amid dialogues that challenge Gwich'in identity and how the Gwich'in approach to knowledge, understanding, and stories emphasize personal experience and accountability, promotes independent thinking on the part of the listener and acknowledges ambiguity and multiplicity in meaning. Through Vera's dialogue we see how stories of personal experience are offered to help others understand their own experiences and how putting stories into writing can be an extension of this tradition. Vera hopes her stories will remind people of the strength of Gwich'in culture and community and that they help others with similar experiences: that "maybe an answer is in there." In this work I employ a dialogic approach to reading Vera's stories because this comes closest to Vera's and Gwich'in ideas about how knowledge and understanding is gained and passed on through stories. Each person's experiences lead them to engage in the dialogue differently and thus find their own understanding. Offering a story acknowledges the ambiguity of understanding and the fluidity of storytelling and story listening. Through exploring multiple discourses and providing a "reading" instead of an interpretation of Vera's narrative I hope that "maybe something is in there" that will help others understand Vera's words. Vera's approach to her life story illustrates a way of using life stories not simply to record culture and history, but to engage others in a broader attempt to create and reinforce shared meaning and identity. This requires a way of looking at the collaborative process in the production of life histories that emphasizes continuing dialogues and negotiated meanings between all parties.
    • The Role Of Women In The Founding And Development Of Fairbanks, Alaska, 1903-1923

      Movius, Phyllis Demuth; Mangusso, Mary (1996)
      Women of varying backgrounds participated in the founding and development of Fairbanks. This thesis will present portraits of four women who are representative of these variances, arrived in Fairbanks prior to the opening of the Alaska Railroad and the arrival of big mining, and who left written records of their lives.<p> Separated from her husband when she came to Alaska from Dawson, Ellen Gibson struggled to gain elusive financial security. Jessie Bloom immigrated from Ireland as a new bride intent on establishing a home based on European Jewish tradition. Margaret Keenan thrived in an environment that allowed professional advancement. Mary Lee Davis accompanied her husband to Fairbanks and enjoyed social advantage and a successful writing career.<p> Women's experiences in early Fairbanks parallel those of women on the American western frontier in the 1800s. However, river transportation into the Interior and technological advances nationwide gave the twentieth-century Alaska pioneers an advantage. <p>
    • Who Is In Charge Here? A Feminist Communicology Of Followership And Leadership In An Academic Organization

      Jordan, Robert Locke; McWherter, Pamela (2008)
      This feminist critical study explicates the ways that followership is conceptualized at an academic organization in the Pacific Northwest. Through the use of qualitative methods, stories were solicited providing descriptions of events that define the hegemonically masculine ways that followership is conceptualized, suggesting the need for a feminist critical analysis and revisioning. A number of themes emerged from conversational interviews including: conceptual verisimilitude, archetypes of leadership, alternative conceptions of followership, the role of action in leadership and followership, and the emergent organization. The capta gathered from this qualitative study suggest a revisioning of human organization and recognizes leadership and followership as existing in a reciprocally defining communicative relationship. Leadership and followership are found to be constructed in an existential exchange addressing a specific need within an organization and its immediate requirements. When viewed from this communicative perspective organizational members come to develop a more sophisticated, relational, and dialectic understanding of the construction of leadership and followership.
    • Women, Health, And Aging In Yup'Ik/Cup'Ik Culture

      Hutchison, Scarlett Hopkins; Kwachka, Pat (2003)
      Knowledge of cultural beliefs about health and how they influence life choices and intervention is essential in forming health policy and health promotion programs to meet the growing needs of aging minority populations. This thesis explores cultural beliefs, experiences, and expectations of health and well-being of Yup'ik/Cup'ik women in two rural communities in southwestern Alaska. Interviews were conducted with fifteen women to address two key research questions: (1) how Yup'ik/Cup'ik women define health and well-being; and (2) what environmental, social, and cultural factors contribute to healthy Yup'ik/Cup'ik aging. While many health beliefs and practices appear very different from those current in research on aging, many commonalities and similarities emerge-concern for family, importance of physical activity and healthy diet, and need for social support. A significant finding of this study is that traditional Yup'ik/Cup'ik ways of living parallels that of current research findings on healthy aging in mainstream populations. <p>