Change of Condition: Women's Rhetorical Strategies on Marriage, 1710-1756

Change of Condition: Women's Rhetorical Strategies on Marriage, 1710-1756

Date: December 2005
Creator: Wood, Laura Thomason
Description: This dissertation examines ways in which women constructed and criticized matrimony both before and after their own marriages. Social historians have argued for the rise of companionacy in the eighteenth century without paying attention to women's accounts of the fears and uncertainties surrounding the prospect of marriage. I argue that having more latitude to choose a husband did not diminish the enormous impact that the choice would have on the rest of a woman's life; if anything, choice might increase that impact. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Hester Mulso Chapone, Mary Delany, and Eliza Haywood recorded their anxieties about and their criticisms of marriage in public and private writings from the early years of the century into the 1750s. They often elide their own complex backgrounds in favor of generalized policy statements on what constitutes a good marriage. These women promote an ideal of marriage based on respect and similarity of character, suggesting that friendship is more honest, and durable than romantic love. This definition of ideal marriage enables these women to argue for more egalitarian marital relationships without overtly calling for a change in the wife's traditional role. The advancement of this ideal of companionacy gave women a means of ...
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Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell

Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell

Date: May 2008
Creator: Smith, Victoria
Description: Libertines Real and Fictional in Rochester, Shadwell, Wycherley, and Boswell examines the Restoration and eighteenth-century libertine figure as it appears in John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester's Satyr against Mankind, "The Maim'd Debauchee," and "Upon His Drinking a Bowl," Thomas Shadwell's The Libertine, William Wycherley's The Country Wife, and James Boswell's London Journal, 1762-1763. I argue that the limitations and self-contradictions of standard definitions of libertinism and the ways in which libertine protagonists and libertinism in general function as critiques of libertinism. Moreover, libertine protagonists and poetic personae reinterpret libertinism to accommodate their personal agendas and in doing so, satirize the idea of libertinism itself and identify the problematization of "libertinism" as a category of gender and social identity. That is, these libertines misinterpret-often deliberately-Hobbes to justify their opposition and refusal to obey social institutions-e.g., eventually marrying and engaging in a monogamous relationship with one's wife-as well as their endorsement of obedience to nature or sense, which can include embracing a libertine lifestyle in which one engages in sexual encounters with multiple partners, refuses marriage, and questions the existence of God or at least distrusts any sort of organized religion. Since any attempts to define the word "libertinism"-or at least ...
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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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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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Taken In

Taken In

Date: May 2005
Creator: Levan, Michael Jon
Description: Taken In is a collection of poems about coming to terms with death, love, and the social responsibilities people owe to each other.
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"They Don't Make'em Like They Used To": Cultural Hegemony and the Representation of White Masculinity in Recent U.S. Cinema

"They Don't Make'em Like They Used To": Cultural Hegemony and the Representation of White Masculinity in Recent U.S. Cinema

Date: December 2005
Creator: Schneider, Matthew
Description: The purpose of this work is to illuminate how white male hegemony over women and minorities is inscribed through the process of film representation. A critical interrogation of six film texts produced over the last decade yields pertinent examples of how the process of hegemonic negotiation works to maintain power for the ever changing modes of postindustrial masculinity. Through the process of crisis and recuperation the central male characters in these films forge new, more acceptable attributes of masculinity that allow them to retain their centrality in the narrative.
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Samuel Richardson's Revisions to Pamela (1740, 1801)

Samuel Richardson's Revisions to Pamela (1740, 1801)

Date: August 2004
Creator: Bender, Ashley Brookner
Description: The edition of Pamela a person reads will affect his or her perception of Pamela's ascent into aristocratic society. Richardson's revisions to the fourteenth edition of Pamela, published posthumously in 1801, change Pamela's character from the 1740 first edition in such a way as to make her social climb more believable to readers outside the novel and to "readers" inside the novel. Pamela alters her language, her actions, and her role in the household by the end of the first edition; in the fourteenth edition, however, she changes in little more than her title. Pamela might begin as a novel that threatens the fabric of class hierarchies, but it ends-both within the plot and externally throughout its many editions-as a novel that stabilizes and strengthens social norms.
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Re-Envisioning an Eighteenth-Century Artifact: A Postmodern Reading of Tristram Shandy

Re-Envisioning an Eighteenth-Century Artifact: A Postmodern Reading of Tristram Shandy

Date: August 2011
Creator: Burns, Anthony Louis
Description: The interjection of a new and dynamically different reading of Lawrence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy is imperative, if scholars want to clearly see many of the hidden facets of the novel that have gone unexamined because of out-dated scholarship. Ian Watt’s assumption that Sterne “would probably have been the supreme figure among eighteenth-century novelists” (291) if he had not tried to be so odd, and the conclusion that he draws, that “Tristram Shandy is not so much a novel as a parody of a novel” (291), is incorrect. Throughout the thesis, I argue that Sterne was not burlesquing other novelists, but instead, was engaging with themes that are now being examined by postmodern theories of Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Jean François Lyotard: themes like the impenetrability of identity (“Don’t puzzle me” (TS 7.33.633)), the insufficiency of language (“Well might Locke write a chapter upon the imperfections of words” (5.6.429)), and the unavailability of permanence (“Time wastes too fast” (9.8.754)). I actively engage with their theories to deconstruct unexamined themes inside Tristram Shandy, and illuminate postmodern elements inside the novel. However, I do not argue that Tristram Shandy is postmodern. Instead, I argue that if the reader examines the novel outside ...
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The Sacred and the Profane: Nin, Barnes, and the Aesthetics of Amorality

The Sacred and the Profane: Nin, Barnes, and the Aesthetics of Amorality

Date: August 2009
Creator: Dunbar, Erin
Description: Barnes's Vagaries Malicieux, and Nin's Delta of Venus, are examples the developing vision of female sex, and both authors use their literary techniques to accomplish their aesthetic vision of amorality. Nin's visions are based on her and her friends' extreme experiences. Her primary concern was expressing her erotic and amorally aesthetic gaze, and the results of her efforts are found in her aesthetic vision of Paris and the amoral lifestyle. Barnes uses metaphor and linguistics to fashion her aesthetic vision. Her technique in "Run, Girls, Run!" both subverts any sense of morality, and offers an interesting and challenging read for its audience. In "Vagaries Malicieux" Barnes's Paris is dark while bright, and creates a sense of nothingness, indicated only by Barnes's aesthetic appreciation.
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“Valentine’s Day” and Other Works

“Valentine’s Day” and Other Works

Date: May 2012
Creator: Thornburg, Chrissie
Description: The following collection includes three short stories and two essays compiled with a critical preface. “Valentine’s Day” explores the limits of friendship and love in various situations including, two road trips (one fictional and one factual), pet ownership, and the impersonations of Frank Sinatra.
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Scotland Expecting: Gender and National Identity in Alan Warner's Scotland

Scotland Expecting: Gender and National Identity in Alan Warner's Scotland

Date: December 2006
Creator: Hart, Krystal
Description: This dissertation examines the constructions of gender and national identity in four of Alan Warner's novels: Morvern Callar, These Demented Lands, The Sopranos, and The Man Who Walks. I argue that Warner uses gender identity as the basis for the examination of a Scottish national identity. He uses the metaphor of the body to represent Scotland in devolution. His pregnant females are representative of "Scotland Expecting," a notion that suggests Scotland is expecting independence from England. I argue that this expectation also involves the search for a genuine Scottish identity that is not marred by the effects of colonization. Warner's male characters are emasculated and represent Scotland's mythological past. The Man Who Walks suggests that his female characters' pregnancies result in stillbirths. These stillbirths represent Scotland's inability to let go of the past in order to move towards a future independent nation.
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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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Irony, Humor, and Ontological Relationality in Literature

Irony, Humor, and Ontological Relationality in Literature

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Kim, Soon Bae
Description: The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate ontological relationality in literary theory and criticism by critically reflecting on modern theories of literature and by practically examining the literary texts of Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, and Oscar Wilde. Traditional studies of literary texts have been oriented toward interpretative or hermeneutic methodologies, focusing on an independent and individual subject in literature. Instead, I explore how relational ontology uncovers the interactive structures interposed between the author, the text, and the audience by examining the system of how the author's creative positioning provokes the reader's reaction through the text. In Chapter I, I critically inquire into modern literary theories of "irony" in Romanticism, New Criticism, and Deconstructionism to show how they tend to disregard the dynamic dimension of interactive relationships between different literary subjects. Chapter II scrutinizes Wilde's humor in An Ideal Husband (1895) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) in order to reveal the ontological relationships triggered by a creative positioning. In chapter III, I examine Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales (c. 1400) and the laughter in "The Miller's Tale" in particular, to examine the ethical and aesthetic dimensions of its interactive relationships. In Chapter IV, I explore Much Ado About Nothing ...
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The Politics of Translation: Authorship and Authority in the Writings of Alfred the Great

The Politics of Translation: Authorship and Authority in the Writings of Alfred the Great

Date: August 2008
Creator: Crumbley, Allex
Description: The political implications of the OE prose translations of King Alfred (849-899) are overlooked by scholars who focus on the literary merits of the texts. When viewed as propaganda, Alfred's writings show a careful reshaping of their Latin sources that reaffirms Alfred's claim to power. The preface to Pastoral Care, long understood to be the inauguration of Alfred's literary reforms, is invested with highly charged language and a dramatic reinvention of English history, which both reestablishes the social hierarchy with the king more firmly in place at its head and constructs the inevitability of what is actually a quite radical translation project. The translations themselves reshape their readers' understanding of kingship, even while creating implicit comparison between Alfred and the Latin authors.
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Our enemy, ourselves: Political conspiracy in American cinema, 1970-present.

Our enemy, ourselves: Political conspiracy in American cinema, 1970-present.

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Date: August 2003
Creator: Budziszewski, Przemyslaw
Description: This thesis is an examination of "paranoid conspiracy" films, a film noir subgenre that emerged in mainstream American cinema in the early 1970s and turns on vast, shadowy conspiracies located within U.S. "power structures" (government agencies, the military, the media) and directed against the American public. Specifically, it focuses on the emergence of these films in the 1970s, their almost complete disappearance during the Reagan presidency, and subsequent reemergence in the early 1990s. Placing representative texts in the context of U.S. political and social reality of the last three decades, it analyzes the relationship between the conspiracy theory genre, the "crisis of confidence" in the American society, and the process of formation of American national identity.
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The Museum of Coming Apart

The Museum of Coming Apart

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Date: May 2009
Creator: Lee, Bethany Tyler
Description: This dissertation comprises two parts: Part I, which discusses use of second person pronoun in contemporary American poetry; and Part II, The Museum of Coming Apart, which is a collection of poems. As confessional verse became a dominant mode in American poetry in the late 1950s and early 60s, so too did the use of the first-person pronoun. Due in part to the excesses of later confessionalism, however, many contemporary poets hesitate to use first person for fear that their work might be read as autobiography. The poetry of the 1990s and early 2000s has thus been characterized by distance, dissociation, and fracture as poets attempt to remove themselves from the overtly emotional and intimate style of the confessionals. However, other contemporary poets have sought to straddle the line between the earnestness and linearity of confessionalism and the intellectually playful yet emotionally detached poetry of the moment. One method for striking this balance is to employ the second person pronoun. Because "you" in English is ambiguous, it allows the poet to toy with the level of distance in a poem and create evolving relationships between the speaker and reader. Through the analysis of poems by C. Dale Young, Paul Guest, ...
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Negotiating Interests: Elizabeth Montagu's Political Collaborations with Edward Montagu; George, Lord Lyttelton; and William Pulteney, Lord Bath

Negotiating Interests: Elizabeth Montagu's Political Collaborations with Edward Montagu; George, Lord Lyttelton; and William Pulteney, Lord Bath

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Date: December 2009
Creator: Bennett, Elizabeth Stearns
Description: This dissertation examines Elizabeth Robinson Montagu's relationships with three men: her husband, Edward Montagu; George Lyttelton, first baron Lyttelton; and William Pulteney, earl of Bath to show how these relationships were structured and how Elizabeth Montagu negotiated them in order to forward her own intellectual interests. Montagu's relationship with her husband Edward and her friendships with Lord Lyttelton and Lord Bath supplied her with important outlets for intellectual and political expression. Scholarly work on Montagu's friendships with other intellectual women has demonstrated how Montagu drew on the support of female friends in her literary ambitions, but at the same time, it has obscured her equally important male relationships. Without discounting the importance of female friendship to Montagu's intellectual life, this study demonstrates that Montagu's relationships with Bath, Lyttleton, and her husband were at least as important to her as those with women, and that her male friendships and relationships offered her entry into the political sphere. Elizabeth Montagu was greatly interested in the political debates of her day and she contributed to the political process in the various ways open to her as an elite woman and female intellectual. Within the context of these male friendships, Montagu had an opportunity ...
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Child Rescue As Survival Resistance: Hidden Children in Nazi-occupied  Western Europe

Child Rescue As Survival Resistance: Hidden Children in Nazi-occupied Western Europe

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Date: August 2012
Creator: Decoster, Charlotte Marie-Cecile Marguerite
Description: The phenomenon of rescue organizations that devoted themselves specifically to hiding and saving Jewish children appeared throughout Nazi-occupied Western Europe (France, Belgium, and the Netherlands). Jewish and non-Jewish rescuers risked their lives to save thousands of children from extermination. This dissertation adds to the historiographical understanding of Holocaust resistance by analyzing the efforts of these child rescue organizations as a form of “survival resistance.” Researching the key aspects of traditional resistance (conscious intent, extensive organization, and effective turn-out) demonstrates that, while child rescue did not present armed resistance, it still was a form of active resistance against the Nazi Final Solution. By looking at rescuers’ testimonies and archival sources (from Yad Vashem, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Centre de documentation juive contemporaine, and Kazerne Dossin), this dissertation first outlines the extensive organization and intent of Jewish rescue groups, such as the Oeuvre de Secours aux Enfants (OSE) and Comité de défense des Juifs (CDJ), in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The second part looks at rescue organization and intent by Catholic, Protestant, and humanitarian groups. The dissertation concludes by discussing the effectiveness of organized child rescue. In the end, the rescue groups saved thousands of children and proofs that Child ...
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Women's erotic rape fantasies.

Women's erotic rape fantasies.

Date: August 2008
Creator: Bivona, Jenny M.
Description: This study evaluated the rape fantasies of a female undergraduate sample (N = 355) using a sexual fantasy checklist, a sexual fantasy log, a rape fantasy scenario presentation, and measures of personality. Results indicated that 62% of women have had a rape fantasy. For these women, the median rape fantasy frequency was about four times per year, with 14% of participants reporting that they had rape fantasies at least once a week. Further, rape fantasies exist on a continuum between erotic and aversive, with 9% completely aversive, 45% completely erotic, and 46% both erotic and aversive. Women who are more erotophilic, open to fantasy, and higher in self-esteem tended to have more frequent and erotic rape fantasies than other women. The major theories that have been proposed to explain why women have rape fantasies were tested. Results indicated that sexual blame avoidance and ovulation theories were not supported. Openness to sexuality, sexual desirability, and sympathetic activation theories received partial support.
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Baptists and Britons: Particular Baptist Ministers in England and British Identity in the 1790s

Baptists and Britons: Particular Baptist Ministers in England and British Identity in the 1790s

Date: December 2005
Creator: Parnell, John Robert
Description: This study examines the interaction between religious and national affiliations within a Dissenting denomination. Linda Colley and Jonathan Clark argue that religion provided the unifying foundation of national identity. Colley portrays a Protestant British identity defined in opposition to Catholic France. Clark favors an English identity, based upon an Anglican intellectual hegemony, against which only the heterodox could effectively offer criticism. Studying the Baptists helps test those two approaches. Although Methodists and Baptists shared evangelical concerns, the Methodists remained within the Church of England. Though Baptists often held political views similar to the Unitarians, they retained their orthodoxy. Thus, the Baptists present an opportunity to explore the position of orthodox Dissenters within the nation. The Baptists separated their religious and national identities. An individual could be both a Christian and a Briton, but one attachment did not imply the other. If the two conflicted, religion took precedent. An examination of individual ministers, specifically William Winterbotham, Robert Hall, Mark Wilks, Joseph Kinghorn, and David Kinghorn, reveals a range of Baptist views from harsh criticism of to support for the government. It also shows Baptist disagreement on whether faith should encourage political involvement and on the value of the French Revolution. Baptists ...
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Private Affections: Miscegenation and the Literary Imagination in Israel-Palestine

Private Affections: Miscegenation and the Literary Imagination in Israel-Palestine

Date: May 2014
Creator: Cohen, Hella Bloom
Description: This study politicizes the mixed relationship in Israeli-Palestinian literature. I examine Arab-Jewish and interethnic Jewish intimacy in works by Palestinian national poet Mahmoud Darwish, canonical Israeli novelist A. B. Yehoshua, select anthologized Anglophone and translated Palestinian and Israeli poetry, and Israeli feminist writer Orly Castel-Bloom. I also examine the material cultural discourses issuing from Israel’s textile industry, in which Arabs and Jews interact. Drawing from the methodology of twentieth-century Brazilian miscegenation theorist Gilberto Freyre, I argue that mixed intimacies in the Israeli-Palestinian imaginary represent a desire to restructure a hegemonic public sphere in the same way Freyre’s Brazilian mestizo was meant to rhetorically undermine what he deemed a Western cult of uniformity. This project constitutes a threefold contribution. I offer one of the few postcolonial perspectives on Israeli literature, as it remains underrepresented in the field in comparison to its Palestinian counterparts. I also present the first sustained critique of the hetero relationship and the figure of the hybrid in Israeli-Palestinian literature, especially as I focus on its representation for political options rather than its aesthetic intrigue. Finally, I reexamine and apply Gilberto Freyre in a way that excavates him from critical interment and advocates for his global relevance.
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