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 Degree Discipline: English
Jeans, Boots, and Starry Skies: Tales of a Gay Country-and-Western Bar and Places Nearby

Jeans, Boots, and Starry Skies: Tales of a Gay Country-and-Western Bar and Places Nearby

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Date: May 2010
Creator: Gay, Wayne Lee
Description: Fourteen short stories, with five interspersed vignettes, describe the lives of gay people in the southwestern United States, centered around a fictional gay country-and-western bar in Dallas and a small town in Oklahoma. Various characters, themes, and trajectories recur in the manner of a short story cycle, as explained in the prefatory Critical Analysis, which focuses on exemplary works of James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Shirley Jackson, Italo Calvino, Yevgeny Kharitonov, and Louise Erdrich.
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Letters from Jack and Other Cadavers

Letters from Jack and Other Cadavers

Date: May 2010
Creator: Leis, Aaron
Description: My dissertation, Letters from Jack and Other Cadavers, developed out of my interest in using persona, narrative forms, and historical details collected through thorough research to transform personal experience and emotions in my poems. The central series of poems, "Letters from Jack," is written in the voice of Jack the Ripper and set up as a series of poems-as-letters to the police who chased him. The Ripper's sense of self and his motivations are troubled by his search for a muse as the poems become love poems, contrasting the brutality of the historical murders and the atmosphere of late 19th century London with a charismatic speaker not unlike those of Browning's Dramatic Monologues. The dissertation's preface further explores my desire for a level of personal removal while crafting poems in order to temper sentimentality. Drawing on Wallace Stevens's notion that "Sentimentality is failed emotion" and Tony Hoagland's assessment that fear of sentimentality can turn young poets away from narrative forms, I examine my own poems along with those of Scott Cairns, Tim Seibles, and Albert Goldbarth to derive conclusions on the benefits distance, persona, narrative, and detail to downplay excessive emotion and the intrusion of the personal. Poems from the ...
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Love Poem with Exiles

Love Poem with Exiles

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Date: May 2010
Creator: Quintanilla, Octavio
Description: Love Poem with Exiles is a collection of poems with a critical preface. The poems are varied in terms of subject matter and form. In the critical preface, I discuss my relationship with poetry as well as the idea that we inherit poems, and that if we are inspired by them, we can transform them into something new.
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Laying the foundation for successful non-academic writing: Professional communication principles in the K-5 curricula of the McKinney Independent School District.

Laying the foundation for successful non-academic writing: Professional communication principles in the K-5 curricula of the McKinney Independent School District.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Treviño, Marlea
Description: Traditionally, K-5 students' writing has had a primarily academic aim-to help students master concepts and express themselves. Even if students take a professional writing course later, they typically do not have the opportunity to practice-over the long period of time mastery requires-the non-academic writing skills they will be required to use as part of their jobs and in their civic life. Based on a limited K-5 study, Texas' McKinney Independent School District is doing a good job of preparing students at the elementary-school level in the areas of collaboration and presentation. A fair job of helping elementary-school students understand the communication situation, define audience, clarify purpose, gather and evaluate resources, and test usability. [And] a poor job of helping elementary-school students with analysis and organization. With their teachers' help, K-5 students eventually grasp the communication situation and can broadly identify their audience and purpose, but they do not appear to select words, format, communication style, or design based on that audience and purpose. Their writer-based focus affects their presentations as well, although they do present frequently. If teachers routinely incorporated audience and purpose considerations into every aspect of communication assignments (format, communication style, design), students would be better prepared for ...
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The Map and the Territory in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens

The Map and the Territory in the Poetry of Wallace Stevens

Date: December 2009
Creator: Thompson, Erik Robb
Description: In this dissertation, Wallace Stevens' imagination-reality problem as depicted in his poetry is discussed in terms of an eco-critical map-territory divide. Stevens's metaphor of "the necessary angel" acts to mediate human necessity, the map, with natural necessity, the territory, in order to retain contact with changing cultural and environmental conditions. At stake in this mediation are individual freedom and the pertinence of the imagination to the experience of reality. In Chapter 2, the attempt at reconciliation of these two necessities will be described in terms of surrealism. Stevens's particular approach to surrealism emphasizes separating and delineating natural necessity from human necessity so that through the poem the reader can experience the miracle of their reconciliation. In Chapter 3, this delineation of the two necessities, map and territory, will be examined against Modernist "decreation," which is the stripping bare of human perception for the purpose of regaining glimpses of the first idea of the external world. And in Chapter 4, Stevens's approach to the problem of the map-territory divide will be considered against his alienation or internal exile: balancing nature and identity through mediating fictions results in a compromised approach to the marriage of mind and culture in a historically situated ...
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Personal Properties: Stage Props and Self-Expression in British Drama, 1600-1707

Personal Properties: Stage Props and Self-Expression in British Drama, 1600-1707

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Date: December 2009
Creator: Bender, Ashley Brookner
Description: This dissertation examines the role of stage properties-props, slangily-in the construction and expression of characters' identities. Through readings of both canonical and non-canonical drama written between 1600 and 1707-for example, Thomas Middleton's The Revenger's Tragedy (1607), Edward Ravenscroft's adaptation of Titus Andronicus (1678), Aphra Behn's The Rover (1677), and William Wycherley's The Plain Dealer (1677)-I demonstrate how props mediate relationships between people. The control of a character's props often accords a person control of the character to whom the props belong. Props consequently make visual the relationships of power and subjugation that exist among characters. The severed body parts, bodies, miniature portraits, and containers of these plays are the mechanisms by which characters attempt to differentiate themselves from others. The characters deploy objects as proof of their identities-for example, when the women in Behn's Rover circulate miniatures of themselves-yet other characters must also interpret these objects. The props, and therefore the characters' identities, are at all times vulnerable to misinterpretation. Much as the props' meanings are often disputed, so too are characters' private identities often at odds with their public personae. The boundaries of selfhood that the characters wish to protect are made vulnerable by the objects that they use ...
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The Politics of Sympathy: Secularity, Alterity, and Subjectivity in George Eliot's Novels

The Politics of Sympathy: Secularity, Alterity, and Subjectivity in George Eliot's Novels

Date: December 2009
Creator: Koo, Seung-Pon
Description: This study examines the practical and political implications of sympathy as a mode of achieving the intercommunicative relationship between the self and the other, emphasizing the significance of subjective agency not simply guided by the imperative category of morality but mainly enacted by a hybrid of discourses through the interaction between the two entities. Scenes of Clerical Life, Eliot's first fictional narrative on illuminating the intertwining relation of religion to secular conditions of life, reveals that the essence of religion is the practice of love between the self and the other derived from sympathy and invoked by their dialogic discourses of confession which enable them to foster the communality, on the grounds that the alterity implicated in the narrative of the other summons and re-historicizes the narrative of the subject's traumatic event in the past. Romola, Eliot's historical novel, highlights the performativity of subject which, on the one hand, locates Romola outside the social frame of domination and appropriation as a way of challenging the universalizing discourses of morality and duty sanctioned by the patriarchal ideology of norms, religion, and marriage. On the other hand, the heroine re-engages herself inside the social structure as a response to other's need for ...
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Always Painting the Future: Utopian Desire and the Women's Movement in Selected Works by United States Female Writers at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Always Painting the Future: Utopian Desire and the Women's Movement in Selected Works by United States Female Writers at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Date: August 2009
Creator: Balic, Iva
Description: This study explores six utopias by female authors written at the turn of the twentieth century: Mary Bradley Lane's Mizora (1881), Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Merchant's Unveiling Parallel (1893), Eloise O. Richberg's Reinstern (1900), Lena J. Fry's Other Worlds (1905), Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland (1915), and Martha Bensley Bruère's Mildred Carver, USA (1919). While the right to vote had become the central, most important point of the movement, women were concerned with many other issues affecting their lives. Positioned within the context of the late nineteenth century women's rights movement, this study examines these "sideline" concerns of the movement such as home and gender-determined spheres, motherhood, work, marriage, independence, and self-sufficiency and relates them to the transforming character of female identity at the time. The study focuses primarily on analyzing the expression of female historical desire through utopian genre and on explicating the contradictory nature of utopian production.
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Fictionalized Indian English Speech and the Representations of Ideology in Indian Novels in English

Fictionalized Indian English Speech and the Representations of Ideology in Indian Novels in English

Date: August 2009
Creator: Muthiah, Kalaivahni
Description: I investigate the spoken dialogue of four Indian novels in English: Mulk Raj Anand's Untouchable (1935), Khushwant Singh's Train to Pakistan (1956), Rasipuram Krishnaswami Narayan's The World of Nagaraj (1990), and Rohinton Mistry's Family Matters (2002). Roger Fowler has said that literature, as a form of discourse, articulates ideology; it is through linguistic criticism (combination of literary criticism and linguistic analyses) that the ideologies in a literary text are uncovered. Shobhana Chelliah in her study of Indian novels in English concludes that the authors use Indian English (IndE) as a device to characterize buffoons and villains. Drawing upon Fowler's and Chelliah's framework, my investigation employs linguistic criticism of the four novels to expose the ideologies reflected in the use of fictionalized English in the Indian context. A quantitative inquiry based on thirty-five IndE features reveals that the authors appropriate these features, either to a greater or lesser degree, to almost all their characters, suggesting that IndE functions as the mainstream variety in these novels and creating an illusion that the authors are merely representing the characters' unique Indian worldviews. But within this dialect range, the appropriation of higher percentages of IndE features to specific characters or groups of characters reveal ...
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God's Perfect Timing

God's Perfect Timing

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Date: August 2009
Creator: Rizzo, Steven
Description: When I was thirty-three years old, I discovered I was an adoptee. In this memoir of secrecy and love, betrayal and redemption, I reflect on my early experiences as a doted-on only child firmly rooted in the abundant love of my adoptive family, my later struggles with depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, my marriage to a fellow-adoptee, my discovery of my own adoption and the subsequent reunion with my birth family, my navigation through the thrills and tensions of newly complicated family dynamics, and my witness to God's perfect timing through it all.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries