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Noctilucent

Noctilucent

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Date: December 2011
Creator: Bush, Mary Gwen
Description: This dissertation is composed of two parts. Part I discusses the evolution of meditative poetry as a genre, with a particular emphasis on the influence of women poets and feminist critical theory. Part II is a collection of poems. Although several popular and critically-acclaimed poets working today write meditative poems, meditative poetry as a genre has not been systematically examined since M.H. Abrams’s essay on the meditative mode in Romantic poetry, “Structure and Style in the Greater Romantic Lyric.” Because one of the driving forces of meditative poetry is a longing for, or recognition of, a state of perception that lies between individual being and some form of universal ordering principle, meditative poetry might seem to be antithetical to a postmodern world that is fragmentary, contingent, and performative; indeed, earlier definitions of meditative poetry, tied to historical and cultural understandings of the individual and the Universal, no longer reflect “how we know” but only “how we knew.” However, this essay argues that there is a contemporary meditative structure that allows for a continued relationship between the individual and the Universal without resorting to the essentialism implicit in the genre as traditionally described. This new structure owes much to feminist theory, ...
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Economic Motivation of the Ex-Dividend Day Anomaly: Evidence from an Alternative Tax Environment

Economic Motivation of the Ex-Dividend Day Anomaly: Evidence from an Alternative Tax Environment

Date: December 2011
Creator: Anantarak, Sarin
Description: Several studies have observed that stocks tend to drop by an amount that is less than the dividend on the ex-dividend day, the so-called ex-dividend day anomaly. However, there still remains a lack of consensus for a single explanation of this anomaly. Different from other studies, this dissertation attempts to answer the primary research question: How can investors make trading profits from the ex-dividend day anomaly and how much can they earn? With this goal, I examine the economic motivations of equity investors through four main hypotheses identified in the anomaly’s literature: the tax differential hypothesis, the short-term trading hypothesis, the tick size hypothesis, and the leverage hypothesis. While the U.S. ex-dividend anomaly is well studied, I examine a long data window (1975 to 2010) of Thailand data. The unique structure of the Thai stock market allows me to assess all four main hypotheses proposed in the literature simultaneously. Although I extract the sample data from two data sources, I demonstrate that the combined data are consistently sampled. I further construct three trading strategies: “daily return,” “lag one daily return,” and “weekly return” to alleviate the potential effect of irregular data observation. I find that the ex-dividend day anomaly exists ...
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Skiddy Street: Prostitution and Vice in Denison, Texas, 1872-1922

Skiddy Street: Prostitution and Vice in Denison, Texas, 1872-1922

Date: December 2011
Creator: Bridges, Jennifer
Description: Prostitution was a rampant and thriving industry in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Texas. Due to the arrival of the M.K. and T. Railroad, the city of Denison became a frontier boomtown and prostitution as well as other vice elements grew alongside the town. Skiddy Street was one road south of Main Street in Denison and housed the most notorious brothels and saloons in the city. In the late nineteenth century, few national laws were present to regulate red-light districts and those that existed were largely ignored. Economically, prostitution was an important addition to the coffers of cities such as Denison, and through taxing and licensing of prostitutes, city leaders profited off of the vice industry. The early decades of the twentieth century led to changes in the toleration of prostitution and red-light districts on the national level. Progressive reform movements, temperance, World War I, and the National Railroad Shopmen’s strike, each contributed to the dissolution of Skiddy Street in Denison as toleration and open acceptance of prostitution waned. This study attempts to understand how and why prostitution thrived during Denison’s early frontier days, who some of the prostitutes were that plied their trade on Skiddy Street, and how ...
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The Compositional Transformation and Musical Rebirth of Leo Ornstein

The Compositional Transformation and Musical Rebirth of Leo Ornstein

Date: December 2011
Creator: Bonney, Michael
Description: This study focuses on the transformation of Leo Ornstein’s (1893-2002) musical language of his early years into the strikingly different approach found in his later years. Ornstein’s initial radical compositions from the mid-1910s were no doubt representative of the direction in which modern music was moving. Despite the intense fame and notoriety of his early works, Ornstein did not feel connected to the trends of modern music development, and by the end of the 1930s he withdrew from the public scene and turned to teaching. By the 1950s Ornstein had been almost forgotten, and in later life he became a very private person. He worked in almost total isolation composing a substantial amount of music well into his nineties, and died at the age of 109. The music of Ornstein’s “second life” is very different from the initial works of his early years, and most of it is unknown to the public and should be brought into scholarly light, especially since Ornstein has been considered by historians as a pivotal figure in twentieth-century music. This study examines selected music from different stages of Ornstein’s career: Wild Men’s Dance (1913), Suicide in an Airplane (1913), Arabesques (1918), A Long Remembered Sorrow ...
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Predictive Relationships among Learner Characteristics, Academic Involvement, and Doctoral Education Outcomes

Predictive Relationships among Learner Characteristics, Academic Involvement, and Doctoral Education Outcomes

Date: December 2011
Creator: Anderson, Baaska
Description: The literature identifies multiple factors pertinent to learner characteristics and learning experiences that may promote doctoral education outcomes, and yet little quantitative research has examined relationships between those factors deemed important in the effectiveness of doctoral education. This study sought to examine predictive relationships among doctoral students’ learner characteristics, their involvement in mentorship and intellectual community, and doctoral education outcomes. Using Astin’s theory of involvement and the literature on signature pedagogies in doctoral education as conceptual guides, a survey instrument was constructed for the purpose of measuring variables identified as relevant to the effective formation of scholars. Central to the conceptualization of this study was academic involvement as represented by mentorship and intellectual community. The instrument was validated in a two-stage pilot testing process and administered to doctoral candidates at three public Texas higher education institutions. Of the 217 participants, the majority were female, White (Non-Hispanic), US citizens, and were pursuing education doctorates. Data were analyzed using multivariate statistical analyses. Reliability and validity estimates indicated psychometric integrity of the 20 observed variables measured to represent the constructs of mentorship and intellectual community. Results indicated that doctoral students’ learner characteristics were not notably predictive of doctoral students’ degree of involvement in ...
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Opera at the Threshold of a Revolution: Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-1956)

Opera at the Threshold of a Revolution: Francis Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-1956)

Date: December 2011
Creator: Beard, Cynthia C.
Description: Francis Poulenc’s three-act opera Dialogues des Carmélites (1953-1956) depicts the struggles of the novice nun Blanche de la Force during the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution. The use of Latin liturgical music at critical points in the opera conveys the ritualistic nature of Catholic worship. The spiritual message of mystical substitution, along with the closely related notion of vicarious suffering, imbue the opera with a spirituality that offers a sharp contrast to earlier operatic settings of Catholic texts, particularly during the age of grand opera. Marian devotion also plays an important role in the opera. The final tableau of the opera stages the execution of Blanche and her sisters, complete with the sound of a guillotine, with the nuns singing the Salve Regina as they proceed to the scaffold. The multivalence of the final tableau highlights the importance of voice and its absence. While the nuns, onstage spectators, and the guillotine are audibly present in the scene, the priest participates solely through gesture. The surfacing of the Lacanian Real in the silent moment of traumatic shock that follows the guillotine’s first fall allows for intertextual references to the opera in Poulenc’s Sonate pour Flûte et Piano (1957) to ...
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The “Nigger Trinity”: Engaging the Discourse in Post Civil Rights/Post 1960s America

The “Nigger Trinity”: Engaging the Discourse in Post Civil Rights/Post 1960s America

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Date: December 2011
Creator: Bell, Adrian Shane
Description: The cultural and popular media landscape of the United States of America changed after the Civil-Rights movement of the 1960s. The word “Nigger” was changed during that same period of American history. There are several authors and a comic that helped change this word during the 1960s. The post Civil-Rights American has a different experience and understanding with this word than those born before 1970. This work triangulates the current cultural location of the word “Nigger,” “nigga,” and “the n-word” using linguistics, law, and two media case studies. The “Nigger” trinity is a model that adds value to the discourse that surrounds this one word in post civil-rights/post 1960s America.
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Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland

Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland

Date: December 2011
Creator: Becker, Wayne
Description: To assess sustainability of privately owned rangeland, a questionnaire was used to gathered data from ranches in Cooke, Montague, Clay, Wise, Parker, and Jack counties in North Central Texas. Information evaluated included: management philosophy, economics, grazing practices, environmental condition, quality of life, and demographics. Sustainability indices were created based on economic and land health indicator variables meeting a minimum Cronbach‘s alpha coefficient (α = 0.7). Hierarchical regression analysis was used to create models explaining variance in respondents’ indices scores. Five predictors explained 36% of the variance in rangeland economic sustainability index when respondents: 1) recognized management inaction has opportunity costs affecting economic viability; 2) considered forbs a valuable source of forage for wildlife or livestock; 3) believed governmental assistance with brush control was beneficial; 4) were not absentee landowners and did not live in an urban area in Texas, and; 5) valued profit, productivity, tax issues, family issues, neighbor issues or weather issues above that of land health. Additionally, a model identified 5 predictors which explained 30% of the variance for respondents with index scores aligning with greater land health sustainability. Predictors indicated: 1) fencing cost was not an obstacle for increasing livestock distribution; 2) land rest was a component ...
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Comparing Latent Dirichlet Allocation and Latent Semantic Analysis as Classifiers

Comparing Latent Dirichlet Allocation and Latent Semantic Analysis as Classifiers

Date: December 2011
Creator: Anaya, Leticia H.
Description: In the Information Age, a proliferation of unstructured text electronic documents exists. Processing these documents by humans is a daunting task as humans have limited cognitive abilities for processing large volumes of documents that can often be extremely lengthy. To address this problem, text data computer algorithms are being developed. Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) and Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) are two text data computer algorithms that have received much attention individually in the text data literature for topic extraction studies but not for document classification nor for comparison studies. Since classification is considered an important human function and has been studied in the areas of cognitive science and information science, in this dissertation a research study was performed to compare LDA, LSA and humans as document classifiers. The research questions posed in this study are: R1: How accurate is LDA and LSA in classifying documents in a corpus of textual data over a known set of topics? R2: How accurate are humans in performing the same classification task? R3: How does LDA classification performance compare to LSA classification performance? To address these questions, a classification study involving human subjects was designed where humans were asked to generate and classify documents ...
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Integrating Selective Herbicide and Native Plant Restoration to Control Alternanthera philoxeroides (Alligator Weed)

Integrating Selective Herbicide and Native Plant Restoration to Control Alternanthera philoxeroides (Alligator Weed)

Date: December 2011
Creator: Adams, Justin
Description: Exotic invasive aquatic weeds such as alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) threaten native ecosystems by interfering with native plant communities, disrupting hydrology, and diminishing water quality. Development of new tools to combat invaders is important for the well being of these sensitive areas. Integrated pest management offers managers an approach that combines multiple control methods for better control than any one method used exclusively. In a greenhouse and field study, we tested the effects of selective herbicide application frequency, native competitor plant introduction, and their integration on alligator weed. In the greenhouse study, alligator weed shoot, root, and total biomass were reduced with one herbicide application, and further reduced with two. Alligator weed cumulative stem length and shoot/root ratio was only reduced after two applications. In the greenhouse, introduction of competitors did not affect alligator weed biomass, but did affect shoot/root ratio. The interaction of competitor introduction and herbicide did not significantly influence alligator weed growth in the greenhouse study. In the field, alligator weed cover was reduced after one herbicide application, but not significantly more after a second. Introduction of competitor species had no effect on alligator weed cover, nor did the interaction of competitor species and herbicide application. This ...
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