UNT Theses and Dissertations - 18 Matching Results

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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.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Dye, Scott Allen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Corporate Christians and Terrible Turks: Economics, Aesthetics, and the Representation of Empire in the Early British Travel Narrative, 1630 - 1780

Description: This dissertation examines the evolution of the early English travel narrative as it relates to the development and application of mercantilist economic practices, theories of aesthetic representation, and discourses of gender and narrative authority. I attempt to redress an imbalance in critical work on pre-colonialism and colonialism, which has tended to focus either on the Renaissance, as exemplified by the works of critics such as Stephen Greenblatt and John Gillies, or on the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as in the work of scholars such as Srinivas Aravamudan and Edward Said. This critical gap has left early travel narratives by Sir Francis Moore, Jonathan Harris, Penelope Aubin, and others largely neglected. These early writers, I argue, adapted the conventions of the travel narrative while relying on the authority of contemporary commercial practices. The early English travelers modified contemporary conventions of aesthetic representation by formulating their descriptions of non-European cultures in terms of the economic and political conventions and rivalries of the early eighteenth century. Early English travel literature, I demonstrate, functioned as a politically motivated medium that served both as a marker of authenticity, justifying the colonial and imperial ventures that would flourish in the nineteenth century, and as a forum for experimentation with English notions of gender and narrative authority.
Date: December 2003
Creator: Abunasser, Rima Jamil
Partner: UNT Libraries

Damned Good Daughter.

Description: My dissertation is a memoir based on my childhood experiences growing up with a mentally ill mother. She exhibited violence both passive and aggressive, and the memoir explores my relationship with her and my relationship with the world through her. "Damned Good Daughter" developed with my interest in creative nonfiction as a genre. I came to it after studying poetry, discovering that creative nonfiction offers a form that accommodates both the lyric impulse in poetry and the shaping impulse of story in fiction. In addition, the genre makes a place for the first person I in relation to the order and meaning of a life story. Using reverse chronology, my story begins with the present and regresses toward childhood, revealing the way life experiences with a mentally ill parent build on one another.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Yeatts, Karen Rachel
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.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Burks, T. Stephen
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Evolution of Yeats's Dance Imagery: The Body, Gender, and Nationalism

Description: Tracing the development of his dance imagery, this dissertation argues that Yeats's collaborations with various early modern dancers influenced his conceptions of the body, gender, and Irish nationalism. The critical tendency to read Yeats's dance emblems in light of symbolist-decadent portrayals of Salome has led to exaggerated charges of misogyny, and to neglect of these emblems' relationship to the poet's nationalism. Drawing on body criticism, dance theory, and postcolonialism, this project rereads the politics that underpin Yeats's idea of the dance, calling attention to its evolution and to the heterogeneity of its manifestations in both written texts and dramatic performances. While the dancer of Yeats's texts follow the dictates of male-authored scripts, those in actual performances of his works acquired more agency by shaping choreography. In addition to working directly with Michio Ito and Ninette de Valois, Yeats indirectly collaborated with such trailblazers of early modern dance as Loie Fuller, Isadora Duncan, Maud Allan, and Ruth St. Denis. These collaborations shed important light on the germination of early modern dance and on current trends in the performative arts. Registering anti-imperialist and anti-industrialist agendas, the early Yeats's dancing Sidhe personify a romantic nationalism that seeks to inspire resistance to the cultural machinery of British colonization. In his middle career, these collective Sidhe transmute into the solitary figure of a bird-woman-witch dancer, who, resembling the soloists of early modern dance, occupies center stage without any support from men and (to some extent) contests patriarchal assumptions. The late Yeats satirizes the imposition of sexual, racial, and religious purity on postcolonial Irish identity by means of Salome-like dances in which "fair" dancers hold the severed heads of "foul" spectators. These dances blur customary socio-political boundaries between fair and foul, classical and grotesque. Early to late, the evolution of Yeats's dancers reflects his gradual incorporation ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Lee, Deng-Huei
Partner: UNT Libraries

Godot in Earnest: Beckettian Readings of Wilde

Description: Critics and audiences alike have neglected the idea of Wilde as a precursor to Beckett. But I contend that a closer look at each writer's aesthetic and philosophic tendencies-for instance, their interest in the fluid nature of self, their understanding of identity as a performance, and their belief in language as both a way in and a way out of stagnancy -will connect them in surprising and highly significant ways. This thesis will focus on the ways in which Wilde prefigures Beckett as a dramatist. Indeed, many of the themes that Beckett, free from the constraints of a censor and from the societal restrictions of Victorian England, unabashedly details in his drama are to be found residing obscurely in Wilde. Understanding Beckett's major dramatic themes and motifs therefore yields new strategies for reading Wilde.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Tucker, Amanda
Partner: UNT Libraries

Improving Topic Tracking with Domain Chaining

Description: Topic Detection and Tracking (TDT) research has produced some successful statistical tracking systems. While lexical chaining, a non-statistical approach, has also been applied to the task of tracking by Carthy and Stokes for the 2001 TDT evaluation, an efficient tracking system based on this technology has yet to be developed. In thesis we investigate two new techniques which can improve Carthy's original design. First, at the core of our system is a semantic domain chainer. This chainer relies not only on the WordNet database for semantic relationships but also on Magnini's semantic domain database, which is an extension of WordNet. The domain-chaining algorithm is a linear algorithm. Second, to handle proper nouns, we gather all of the ones that occur in a news story together in a chain reserved for proper nouns. In this thesis we also discuss the linguistic limitations of lexical chainers to represent textual meaning.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Yang, Li
Partner: UNT Libraries

Jinxed

Description: My dissertation, Jinxed, developed out of my interest in the movement between the comic and the tragic by tracing the evolution of a romantic relationship. While employing biblical, classical, literary, and pop-cultural traditions, my manuscript has its most clear affinities with Renaissance poetry that navigates between the erotic and the spiritual. The sequence of poems recreates the character of Petrarch's Laura in the Little Redhead Girl, Charlie Brown's first love. My Laura, however, is a feisty secular Irish woman who simultaneously frustrates and attracts a religious narrator. To explore the multifaceted nature of their love, I employ a variety of poetic techniques, such as the repetition inherent in the villanelle to express the powerlessness of the narrator as he begins to fall in love. In "To a Young Philosopher," a sestina, one of the repeated words ("ephemeral") triggers a philosophical discussion that is a proposal of marriage. The manuscript also uses other forms such as the sonnet, Spenserian stanza, terza rima, couplets, and blank verse. Narratively, it ends with Charlie Brown after he has missed kicking Lucy's football, falling to earth literally and symbolically. Poems in the manuscript have appeared in journals such as The Wallace Stevens Journal, Talking River Review, and Passages North.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Davis, Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries

Joy Harjo's Poetics of Transformation

Description: For Muscogee Creek poet Joy Harjo, poetry is a real world force that can empower the reader by utilizing mythic memory, recovery of history, and a spiral journey to regain communal identity. Her poetic career transforms from early lyric poems to a hybridized form of prosody, prose, and myth to accommodate and to reflect Harjo's concerns as they progress from personal, to tribal, and then to global. She often employs a witnessing strategy to combat the trauma caused by racism in order to create the possibility for renewal and healing. Furthermore, Harjo's poetry combats forces that seek to define Native American existence negatively. To date, Harjo's poetic works create a myth that will refocus humanity's attention on the way in which historical meaning is produced and the way difference is encountered. In an effort to revise the dominant stories told about Indians, Harjo privileges the idea that Native Americans are present and human, and it is this sense of humanity that pervades her poetry. Sequentially, Joy Harjo's volumes of poetry-She Had Some Horses (1983), In Mad Love and War (1990), and The Woman Who Fell from the Sky (1994)-create a regenerative cycle that combats the effects of oppressive history and racism. Through her poetry, violent and tragic events are transformed into moments of hope and renewal. Her collections are powerful testimonies of endurance and survival. They directly defy the stereotype of the "vanishing" or "stoic" Indian, but more importantly, they offer regeneration and grace to all peoples. The poems create a map to help navigate the multiple simultaneous realms of existence, to find a way to travel through the barriers that separate existence. In this dissertation, I employ various reading strategies to support my contentions. Blending a postcolonial standpoint with feminism, I believe Harjo uses a feminist ethnic bildungsroman to ...
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Date: December 2003
Creator: Rose-Vails, Shannon
Partner: UNT Libraries

Let His Conscience be her Guide: Ethical Self-Fashionings of Woman in Early-Modern Drama

Description: Female characters in early-modern drama, even when following the dictates of conscience, appear inextricably bound to patriarchal expectations. This paradoxical situation is explained by two elements that have affected the Renaissance playwright's depiction of woman as moral agent. First, the playwright's education would have included a traditional body of philosophical opinion regarding female intellectual and moral capacities that would have tried to explain rationally the necessity of woman's second-class status. However, by its nature, this body of information is filled with contradiction. Second, the playwright's education would have also included learning to use the rhetorical trope et utramque partem, that is arguing a position from all sides. Learning to use this trope would place the early-modern dramatist in the position of interrogating the contradictory notions of woman contained in the traditional sources. Six dramas covering over a sixty-year period from the mid-sixteenth to the early seventeenth centuries suggest that regardless of the type of work, comedy or tragedy, female characters are shown as adults seeking recognition as autonomous moral beings while living in a culture that works to maintain their dependent status. These works include an early comedy Ralph Roister Doister, a domestic tragedy A Woman Killed With Kindness, a closet drama The Tragedy of Mariam: The Fair Queen of Jewry, two romances, Cymbeline and The Winter's Tale, and a tragedy The Duchess of Malfi. What these plays suggest is that throughout early-modern drama, the female character is often depicted as resisting patriarchal demands that are inherently irrational, especially when these demands contradict ethical behavior that the culture ostensibly supports. The Renaissance playwright's depiction of woman as moral agent is encouraging in that even though the female character may not be successful within the parameters of the drama, nevertheless, the fact that her moral dilemma is described in ways that ...
Date: August 2003
Creator: Penque, Ruth Ida
Partner: UNT Libraries

Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway: A Literary Relationship

Description: Martha Gellhorn and Ernest Hemingway met in Key West in 1937, married in 1941, and divorced in 1945. Gellhorn's work exhibits a strong influence from Hemingway's work, including collaboration on her work during their marriage. I will discuss three of her six novels: WMP (1934), Liana (1944), and Point of No Return (1948). The areas of influence that I will rely on in many ways follow the stages Harold Bloom outlines in Anxiety of Influence. Gellhorn's work exposes a stage of influence that Bloom does not describe-which I term collaborative. By looking at Hemingway's influence in Gellhorn's writing the difference between traditional literary influence and collaborative influence can be compared and analyzed, revealing the footprints left in a work by a collaborating author as opposed to simply an influential one.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Salmon, H. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Middle Men: Establishing Non-Anglo Masculinity in Southwestern Literature

Description: By examining southwestern masculinity from three separate lenses of cultural experience, Mexican American, Native American and female, this thesis aims to acknowledge the blending of masculinities that is taking place in both the fictitious and factual southwest. Long gone are the days when the cowboys chased down the savage Indians or the Mexican bandits. Southwestern literature now focuses on how these different cultures and traditions can re-construct their masculinities in a way that will be beneficial to all. The southwest is a land of borders and liminal spaces between the United States and Mexico, between brown and white, legal and illegal. All of these borders converge here to create the last American frontier. These converging borders also encompass converging traditions, cultures, and genders. By blending the cowboy, the macho, and the warrior, perhaps these Southwestern writers can construct a liminal masculinity more representative of the southwest itself.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: King, Charla
Partner: UNT Libraries

Outer Reaches of the Palindrome

Description: This work is an exploration into the palindrome, both as a literary form and an expression of infinity. The first two chapters address the fascinating manner in which the mind contextualizes fragments of speech and ludicrous grammatical implications that are spawned by the poetic structure of the palindrome (third chapter). The thesis then departs from the literary aspect of the palindrome and focuses in the fourth chapter on structural likenesses in psychology and mythology. The fifth chapter argues the palindrome and parallel conceptual structures as examples of recursion, then presents examples of recursion in language/grammar, art, and computer science. The sixth chapter uses instances of the recursive equiangular spiral throughout nature to introduce recursion and therefore the palindrome as an archetypal expression of infinity. The thesis ends with a list of the author's palindromes.
Date: December 2003
Creator: McConnell, Michael Constantine
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Pink Papers

Description: The Pink Papers is a collection of three short stories and a novel in progress consisting of four chapters. Each piece is a work of original fiction. The preface addresses the female writer and the female voice in fiction. "Broken Clock" and "Pink Paper" are the stories of two girls coping with endometriosis. "Normal Capacity" looks at the loss of a dream through the eyes of a first-year law student. The novel in progress, titled Blanchard, OK, is set in a rural farming town in Oklahoma. The novel tells the stories of 24-year-old Robin, her Aunt Paula, and Paula's boyfriend, Sam.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Blagg, Caroline
Partner: UNT Libraries

Stretched Out on Her Grave: Pathological Attitudes Toward Death in British Fiction 1788-1909

Description: Nineteenth-century British fiction is often dismissed as necrophillic or obsessed with death. While the label of necrophilia is an apt description of the fetishistic representations of dead women prevalent at the end of the century, it is too narrow to fit literature produced earlier in the century. This is not to say that abnormal attitudes toward death are only a feature of the late nineteenth century. In fact, pathological attitudes toward death abound in the literature, but the relationship between the deceased and the survivor is not always sexual in nature. Rather, there is a clear shift in attitudes, from the chaste death fantasy, or attraction to the idea of death, prevalent in Gothic works, to the destructive, stagnant mourning visible in mid-century texts, and culminating in the perverse sexualization of dead women at the turn of the century. This literary shift is most likely attributable to the concurrent changes in attitudes toward sex and death. As sex became more acceptable, more public, via the channels of scientific discourse, death became a less acceptable idea. This “denial of death” is a direct reaction to the religious uncertainties brought about by industrialization. As scientists and industrialists uncovered increasing evidence against a literal interpretation of the Bible, more people began to doubt the nature of God and the existence of an afterlife. If there was no God, then there was no heaven, which raised questions about what happened to the soul after death. With the certainty of an afterlife gone, death became mysterious, something to fear, and the passing of loved ones was doubly-mourned as their fate was now uncertain.
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Date: August 2003
Creator: Angel-Cann, Lauryn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Teaching linguistic mimicry to improve second language pronunciation.

Description: This thesis tests the hypothesis that a whole language approach to ESL (English As A Second Language) pronunciation with emphasis on suprasegementals through the use of linguistic mimicry is more effective than a focus on segmentals in improving native speakers perceptions of accent and comprehensibility of ESL students' pronunciation of English. The thesis is organized into seven chapters. Chapter 2 is a discussion of the factors that affect the degree of foreign accent in second language acquisition. Chapter 3 gives a background on current ESL pedagogy followed by a description of the linguistic mimicry approach used in this research in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 and 6 are discussion of Materials and Methods and Conclusions and Implications.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Yates, Karen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Why the Japanese double-ga construction cannot be scrambled.

Description: This thesis presents a comprehensive study of the Japanese double-ga construction and offers an explanation as to why the Japanese double-ga construction does not allow scrambling. In chapter 2, the particle-ga and the particle-wa are defined as the focus marker and the topic marker respectively. The different shades of meaning that both particles have are also explained. Chapter 3 illustrates the Japanese double -ga construction. Chapter 4 deals with the impossibility of scrambling in the double-particle constructions. A strong parallelism is shown between the double-ga construction and the double-wa construction. The claim is that there are three "pragmatic slots" that the particle-ga and -wa can occupy in the sentence. The rigid-fixed-order of these three slots contributes to the prohibition of scrambling.
Date: August 2003
Creator: Hoye, Masako Oku
Partner: UNT Libraries