UNT Theses and Dissertations - 31 Matching Results

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"The Barroom Girls" and Other Stories

Description: This creative thesis is comprised of five original short stories and a critical preface. The preface discusses the changing cultural, sociopolitical, and socioeconomic landscape of the modern American South and the effects-positive, negative, and neutral-these changes have had on the region's contemporary literature, including the short stories contained within.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Mortazavi, Sohale Andrus
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Concept of Dignity in the Early Science Fiction Novels of Kurt Vonnegut.

Description: Kurt Vonnegut's early science fiction novels depict societies and characters that, as in the real world, have become callous and downtrodden. These works use supercomputers, aliens, and space travel, often in a comical manner, to demonstrate that the future, unless people change their concepts of humanity, will not be the paradise of advanced technology and human harmony that some may expect. In fact, Vonnegut suggests that the human condition may gradually worsen if people continue to look further and further into the universe for happiness and purpose. To Vonnegut, the key to happiness is dignity, and this key is to be found within ourselves, not without.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Dye, Scott Allen
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Country With No Name

Description: A Country With No Name is a collection of thirty-four poems with a preface explaining the style and influences of the author. The preface defends plain-language techniques in poetry, using W.H. Auden, Wislawa Szymborska, and Paul Simon as examples of poets who take a similar approach. The poems range in topic from personal and familial to societal and abstract. The main subjects encompass interpersonal relationships, romantic and otherwise, and larger concerns, such as the effects of war and modern lifestyles.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Hunziker, April
Partner: UNT Libraries

Divine and the Everyday Devil (Short Stories)

Description: Divine and the Everyday Devil contains a scholarly preface that discusses the experiences and literary works that influenced the author's writing with special attention in regards to spirituality and sexuality. The preface is followed by six original short stories. "Evil" is a work addressing a modern conception of evil. "Eschatology" concerns a man facing his own mortality. "The Gospel of Peter" tells the story of a husband grappling with his wife's religious beliefs. "The Mechanics of Projects" relates the experiences of a woman looking for love in Mexico. "The Rocky Normal Show" involves a husband growing apart from his wife and "Mutant: An Origin Story" is about a teenager trying to find his own unique identity.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Burks, T. Stephen
Partner: UNT Libraries

"The Divine Coming of the Light"

Description: The Divine Coming of the Light is a memoir-in-essays that covers an experience, from 2007 to 2010, when I lived in Kosuge Village (population 900), nestled in the mountains of central Japan. I was the only foreigner there. My memoir uses these three years as a frame to investigate how landscape affects identity. The book profiles who I was before Japan (an evangelical and then wilderness guide), why I became obsessed with mountains, and the fall-out from mountain obsession to a humanistic outlook. The path my narrator takes is one of a mountain hike. I was born in tabletop-flat West Texas to conservative, Christian parents in the second most Republican county by votes in America. At 19, I made my first backpacking trip to the San Juan Mountains of western Colorado and was awed by their outer-planetary-like massiveness. However, two friends and I became lost in the wilderness for three days without cell phones. During this time, an obsession possessed me as we found our way back through the peaks to safety, a realization that I could die out there, yes, but amid previously unknown splendor. I developed an addiction to mountains that weakened my religious faith. Like the Romantic poets before me, God transferred from the sky to the immense landscape. I jettisoned my beliefs and became an outdoor wilderness instructor. On every peak I traveled up, I hoped to recreate that first conversion experience when I was lost in the woods. After college, while teaching English in Kosuge Village, I learned about the mountain-worshipping religion Shugendo: a mixture of Buddhism, Shintoism, and Shamanism. I climbed dozens of peaks, spending several days backpacking. However, while in Japan, I was nearly fatally injured on a solo, month-long hike. I saw the accident as a warning and turned my attention to ...
Date: May 2018
Creator: Peters, Clinton Crockett
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Drop of Oil

Description: Many Christian writers point to God through their fiction without openly evangelizing. The images their words evoke lift their secular and religious readers' heads, for God is reflected in their use of language, the emotions they describe, and the actions of their characters. The preface and short stories in this collection aim to show that God's presence can be felt even when people are suffering due to human decisions and mistakes. He is with His creations in the midst of their pain to impart hope when they need it most.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Bullman, Carol
Partner: UNT Libraries

Eaten: A Novel

Description: This novel operates on two levels. First, it is a story concerning the fate of a young woman named Raven Adams, who is prompted into journeying westward after witnessing what she believes to be an omen. On another level, however, the novel is intended to be a philosophical questioning of western modes of “science-based” singular conceptualizations of reality, which argue that there is only one “real world” and anyone who deviates from this is “crazy,” “stupid,” or “wrong.” Raven as a character sees the world in terms of what might be called “magical thinking” in modern psychology; her closest relationship is with a living embodiment of a story, the ancient philosopher Diogenes, which she believes is capable of possessing others and directing her journey. As the story continues the reader comes to understand Raven’s perceptions of her reality, leading to a conceptualization of reality as being “multi-layered.” Eventually these layers are collapsed and unified in the final chapters. The novel makes use of many reference points including philosophy, classical mythology, folklore, religion, and internet social media in order to guide the reader along Raven’s story.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Foster, Natalie
Partner: UNT Libraries

"For the Ruined Body"

Description: This dissertation contains two parts: Part I, "Self-Elegy as Self-Creation Myth," which discusses the self-elegy, a subgenre of the contemporary American elegy; and Part II, For the Ruined Body, a collection of poems. Traditionally elegies are responses to death, but modern and contemporary self-elegies question the kinds of death, responding to metaphorical not literal deaths. One category of elegy is the self-elegy, which turns inward, focusing on loss rather than death, mourning aspects of the self that are left behind, forgotten, or aspects that never existed. Both prospective and retrospective, self-elegies allow the self to be reinvented in the face of loss; they mourn past versions of selves as transient representations of moments in time. Self-elegies pursue the knowledge that the selves we create are fleeting and flawed, like our bodies. However by acknowledging painful self-truths, speakers in self-elegies exert agency; they participate in their own creation myths, actively interpreting and incorporating experiences into their identity by performing dreamlike scenarios and sustaining an intimate, but self-critical, voice in order to: one, imagine an alternate self to create distance and investigate the evolution of self-identity, employing hindsight and self-criticism to offer advice; two, reinterpret the past and its role in creating and shaping identity, employing a tone of resignation towards the changing nature of the self. This self-awareness, not to be confused with self-acceptance, is often the only consolation found.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Dorris, Kara Delene
Partner: UNT Libraries

Gender and Desire in Thomas Lovell Beddoes' The Brides' Tragedy and Death's Jest-Book

Description: Thomas Lovell Beddoes' female dramatic characters are, for the most part, objectified and static, but these passive women perform a crucial narrative and thematic function in the plays. Alongside the destructive activity of the male characters, they dramatize masculine-feminine unions as idealized and contrived and, thus, unstable. Desire, power and influence, as well as the constrictive aspects of physicality, all become gendered concepts in Beddoes' plays, and socially normative relationships between men and women, including heterosexual courtship and marriage, are scrutinized and found wanting. In The Brides' Tragedy, Floribel and Olivia, the eponymous brides, represent archetypes of innocence, purity, and Romantic nature. Their bridegroom, Hesperus, embodies Romantic masculinity, desiring the feminine and aspiring to androgyny, but ultimately unable to relinquish masculine power. The consequences of Hesperus' attempts to unite with the feminine other are the destruction of that other and of himself, with no hope for the spiritual union in death that the Romantic Hesperus espouses as his ultimate desire. Death's Jest-Book expands upon the theme of male-female incompatibility, presenting heterosexual relationships in the context of triangulated desire. The erotic triangles created by Melveric, Sibylla, and Wolfram and Athulf, Amala, and Adalmar are inherently unstable, because they depend upon the rivalries between the males. Once those rivalries end, with the deaths of Wolfram and Athulf, respectively, Sibylla and Amala fade into nothing, their function as conduits for male homosocial relations at an end. In effect, these failed heterosexual triangles function as a backdrop for the idealized relationship between Melveric and Wolfram, whose desire for each other is mediated through their common pursuit of Sibylla, as well as through their blood-brotherhood. Once Wolfram's physical masculinity is deferred through death, the mixing of his ashes with those of Melveric's dead wife, and reanimation, Melveric and Wolfram descend into the tomb together, united ...
Date: May 2002
Creator: Rees, Shelley S.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Girl Disappeared: the Prostitute of La Isla De Santa Flora

Description: The novella, The Girl Disappeared, focuses on the life of Emalia, a street kid from Mexico. She is taken from the streets of Veracruz and forced into a life of prostitution on the fictitious island of La Isla de Santa Flora. The primary conflict that drives the action of the story is her pending choice between escaping her life of slavery and saving another young woman who is on the verge of being forced into a life of prostitution as well. The novella, as a literary piece, dwells on the question of character agency and explores the multilayered nature of code switching. Language for these women becomes a tool in their struggle against their captives and a means of self-preservation, or sanctuary, as they use their growing bilingualism to foment a limited agency, to act in their own defense.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Winston, Michael
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Goodness and Mercy": Stories

Description: The stories in this collection represent an increasingly transcultural world by exploring the intersection of cultures and identities in border spaces, particularly the Mexican-American border. Characters, regardless of ethnicity, experience the effects of migration and deportation in schools, hometowns, relationships, and elsewhere. The collection as a whole focuses on the issues and themes found in Mexican-American literature, such as loss, separation, and the search for identity.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Craggett, Courtney L
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Hint of Meaning

Description: A Hint of Meaning contains a scholarly preface, "Language, Experimentation, and Craft: Creating a Vivid, Continuous Fictional Dream," that discusses the ambiguities of language and how they relate to different aspects of the craft of writing. Six original short stories follow the preface. "Musical Chairs" explores a woman's conflicting emotions about her ex-husband. "Baby Steps" depicts the struggle of a woman against her father's alcoholism. "Go Home Happy" depicts a day in the life of a video store employee. "Bargain Basement Perfection" contrasts the reality of a relationship with an imagined, perfect relationship. "Did You Hear about Donald and Bitsy?" is an experimental piece that tells a story through gossip. "Glass Angels" explores a minister's relationship with his homosexual son and how that relates to the minister's faith.
Date: May 2005
Creator: Kinch, Erin Brinkman
Partner: UNT Libraries

How to Factor Loss

Description: How to Factor Loss is a collection of poems and translations prefaced by a critical paper over Robert Hass's “Meditation at Lagunitas.” The preface, “A Sensuous Theory, A Sensuous Poem,” explores how Hass merges the discourses of theory and poetry to create a poem that hangs suspended between a confidence and an anxiety about language. The poems in this thesis are primarily responses to finitude. The first section turns toward an “other” as a strategy of placating desire and of reaching both inward and outward. The second section explores the potential failures of art as a means of touching objects. The final section acknowledges that finitude is the condition of humankind, and it turns toward a more tender language, one that embraces limitations and is filled with something like faith. The collection is followed by an appendix which contains translations of several poems by René Guy Cadou and Georg Trakl.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Hall, Todd R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

“The Inevitable: Withdrawn”

Description: The Inevitable: Withdrawn is a critical preface and collection of non-fiction writing: personal essay, lyric essay, fragments, and experimental forms. The work’s cohesive subject matter is the author’s European vacation directly following her divorce. Within the pieces, the author attempts to reconcile who she is when starting over and she begins to ask questions regarding the human condition: How do I learn to exhibit intimacy again, not just with romantic partners, but with also in a familial way with my father, and how does absence in these relationships affect my journey and how I write about it? How do I view, and remake myself, when finding my identity that was tied to another individual compromised? How does a body, both physical and belonging to me, and physical as text, take certain shapes to reflect my understanding? How do I define truth, and how do I interpret truth and authenticity in both experience and writing? How do I define and know the difference between belief and truth? And finally, how does narrative and language protect, or expose me? The Inevitable: Withdrawn considers debates regarding the definition of narrative in order to address a spectrum of non-fiction writing. The collection takes into consideration non-fiction conventions, form as functionality, philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology, prose and poetic theory, and the works of other notable writers.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Christy, Gwendolyn Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries

Inter

Description: This dissertation is has two parts: a critical essay on the lyric subject, and a collection of poems. In the essay, I suggest that, contrary to various anti-subjectivists who continue to define the lyric subject in Romantic terms, a strain of Post-Romantic lyric subjectivity allows us to think more in terms of space, process, and dialogue and less in terms of identity, (mere self-) expression, and dialectic. The view I propose understands the contemporary lyric subject as a confluence or parallax of imagined and felt subjectivities in which the subject who writes the poem, the subject personified as speaker in the text itself, and the subject who receives the poem as a reader are each repeatedly drawn out of themselves, into others, and into an otherness that calls one beyond identity, mastery, and understanding. Rather than arguing for the lyric subject as autonomous, expressive (if fictive) "I,” I have suggested that the lyric subject is a dialogical matrix of multiple subjectivities—actual, imagined, anticipated, deferred—that at once posit and emerge from a space whose only grounded, actual place in the world is the text: not the court, not the market, and not a canon of legitimized authors, but in the relatively fugitive realm of text. In this way, there is no real contradiction between what Tucker terms the intersubjective and the intertextual. The lyric space I am arguing for is ultimately a diachronic process in which readers take up the poem and bring that space partially into their bodies, imaginations, and consciousness even as the poem brings them out, or to the edge, of each of these.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Haines, Robert M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Language and the Art of Writing

Description: I start writing by conjuring up an image in my mind. Sometimes it will be something that I have thought about for a while, sometimes it will be something that I sit around attempting to create. Either way, it is simply the idea that I need in order to get started. People will say, "Just sit down and write" which I can do, but it does not mean I will end up anywhere worthwhile. In my writing I need a focus. I need an idea or just one image to get me writing and I can base an entire story off of that one image. I think the reason this works for me is because in my mind it is an illustration and always something that is vibrant and unique. I want the image to stand out and to mean something because I feel that it comes to me for a specific reason, I just have to piece it all together and let the characters and plot unfold for themselves. People often say this, that the characters end up running the story. I think this is true, but in my case my stories are not so driven by character or plot as they are by language. A language driven piece can be a difficult thing to manipulate because it needs to have some direction and some purpose other than just being pleasing to the ear/mind/reader. And what is the point of a language driven piece?
Date: May 2006
Creator: Damask, Tarah
Partner: UNT Libraries

Misrecognized and Misplaced: Race Performed in African American Literature, 1900-2015

Description: In my dissertation, I explore the ways in which racial identity is made complex through various onlookers' misrecognition of race. This issue is particularly important considering the current state of race relations in the United States, as my project offers a literary perspective and account of the way black authors have discussed racial identity formation from the turn of the century through the start of the twenty-first century. I highlight many variations of misrecognition and racial performance as a response to America's obsession with race.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Taylor Juko, Tana
Partner: UNT Libraries

Parts of Women

Description: Parts of Women contains a scholarly preface that discusses the woman's body both in fiction and in the experience of being a woman writer. The preface is followed by five original short stories. "Parts of Women" is a three-part story composed of three first-person monologues. "Controlled Burn" involves a woman anthropologist who discovers asbestos in her office. "Tango Lessons" is about a middle-aged woman who's always in search of her true self. "Expatriates" concerns a man who enters the lives of his Hare Krishna neighbors, and "Rio" involves a word-struck man in his attempt to form a personal relationship.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Murphy, Maria Christine
Partner: UNT Libraries

Playing Jonah's Hand: Poems

Description: Playing Jonah's Hand: Poems is a collection of poems with a critical introduction. The introduction consists of two independent essays, both of which examine intersections between poetry and Christian theology. In the first essay I identify the imaginative faculty as the primary source of agency for the speaker in John Donne's "Holy Sonnets." Working upon Barbara Lewalski's assertion that these sonnets represent "the Protestant paradigm of salvation in its stark, dramatic, Pauline terms," I consider the role of the imagination in the spiritual transformation represented within the sequence. Donne foregrounds a Calvinistic theology that posits both humanity's total depravity and God's grace and mercy as the only avenue of transcendence. Whatever agency the speaker exhibits is generated by the exercise of his imagination, which leads him to a recognition of his sinfulness and the necessity of God's grace. In the second essay I investigate the presence of a negative theology within "Lachrimae, or Seven Tears Figured in Seven Passionate Pavans," a sonnet sequence by Geoffrey Hill. In this sequence, Hill demonstrates the possibilities that surface through an integration of negative theology with postmodern theories of language, both of which have been influenced by the philosophical writings of Martin Heidegger. The two inform and transform each other while producing a tension that is productive ground for poetry. The main body of the manuscript includes a collection of poems built upon thematic parallels with the Biblical account of Jonah, acknowledging the character's continued frustration with God in Chapter Four of Jonah, which is commonly forgotten in popular and religious representations of the story. The four sections in the manuscript include poems that struggle to negotiate the tensions between the will of a compelling God and the will of the individual.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Dyer, Gregory A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

(Some More) American Literature

Description: This short story collection consists of twenty short fictions and a novella. A preface precedes the collection addressing issues of craft, pedagogy, and the post Program Era literary landscape, with particular attention paid to the need for empathy as an active guiding principle in the writing of fiction.
Date: May 2015
Creator: VandeZande, Zach
Partner: UNT Libraries

Sorry Guard

Description: Sorry Guard is a collection of poems with a critical introduction on poetic form. Form in poetry can be revealed vocally (how the poem sounds), temporally (how the poem makes use of time), and spatially (how the poem is visualized, both physically on the page due to typography and imagistically due to the shape and movement of its subject matter). In this preface, I will address these three aspects of form in relation to three distinct twentieth century poets: Robert Hass, W.S. Merwin, and W.H. Auden. I am most interested in how particular formal decisions shape meaning and value in poetry. My aesthetic approach here primarily dwells on what Helen Vendler calls, "the music of what happens." The urgency of Robert Hass's spoken word is important to me because I wish to make poems that should be spoken aloud and remembered. While W.S. Merwin's rejection of punctuation is not my own aesthetic outlook, I strive to achieve through close attention to temporal form the mythic voice of his poemsthe immediacy of his lines and images, especially in his second four books. And Auden's deft use of spatial form is only a small aspect of his remarkable verse. All three poets are concerned with the inadequacy and failure of language in its modern use, yet they write with a certain hopeas if potential power lies hidden in the words. Most of the poems in the dissertation concern failure. Speakers in the poems fail to prevent death or pain, and they fail to achieve an equally requited love. They fail to protect and to achieve oneness with their loved ones, and often they are left only with the consolation of imagination.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Poch, John
Partner: UNT Libraries