UNT Theses and Dissertations - 172 Matching Results

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Across Borders and Barlines: Chicana/o Literature, Jazz Improvisation, and Contrapuntal Solidarity

Description: In this study, I examine Chicana/o writings and Black and Brown musical traditions as they entwine in urban centers and inform local visions of inclusion and models of social change. By analyzing literature and music from South Texas, Southern California, and Northeastern Michigan, I detail how the social particularities of each zone inform Chicana/o cultural productions rooted in the promise of empowerment and the possibility of cross-cultural solidarity. I assert that highlighting localized variations on these themes amplifies contrapuntal solidarities specific to each region, the relationship between different, locally conceived conceptions of Chicana/o identity, and the interplay between Brown and Black aesthetic practices in urban centers near national borders. Through literary critical and ethnomusicological frameworks, I engage the rhetorical patterns that link poetry, jazz improvisation, essays, musical playlists, and corridos to illumine a web of discourses helping to establish the idiosyncratic yet complimentary cultural mores that shape localized social imaginaries in the United States.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Leal, Jonathan J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

“Almost Astronauts”: Short Stories

Description: In this collection of short stories, I abduct experiences from my own life and take them on an imaginative journey. I experiment with elements of structure and point of view, often incorporating the magical or surreal to amplify the narrator’s internal landscape. As demonstrated in the title story, “Almost Astronauts,” these stories all deal with a sudden and sometimes destructive shift in the narrator’s perspective.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Miller, Laura I.
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Among Waitresses": Stories and Essays

Description: The following collection represents the critical and creative work produced during my doctoral program in English. The dissertation consists of Part I, a critical preface, and Part II, a collection of seven short stories and two nonfiction essays. Part I, which contains the critical preface entitled "What to Say and How to Say It," examines the role of voice in discussions of contemporary literature. The critical preface presents a definition of voice and identifies examples of voice-driven writing in contemporary literature, particularly from the work of Mary Robison, Dorothy Allison, and Kathy Acker. In addition, the critical preface also discusses how the use of flavor, tone, and content contribute to voice, both in work of famous authors and in my own writing. In Part II of my dissertation, I present the creative portion of my work. Part II contains seven works of short fiction, titled "Among Waitresses," "The Lion Tamer," "Restoration Services," "Hospitality," "Blood Relation," "Managerial Timber," and "Velma A Cappella." Each work develops a voice-driven narrative through the use of flavor, tone, and content. Also, two nonfiction essays, titled "Fentanyl and Happy Meals" and "Tracks," close out the collection. "Fentanyl and Happy Meals" describes the impact of methamphetamine addiction on family relationships, while "Tracks" focuses on the degradation of the natural world by human waste and other forms of pollution. In total, this collection demonstrates my approach to both scholarly and creative writing, and I am grateful for the University of North Texas for the opportunity to develop academically and achieve my goals.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Hobbs, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Analysis of Conflicts in Mrs. Gaskell's "North and South"

Description: Both contemporary and modern critics recognize the industrial, regional, and personal conflicts in North and South. There are, however, other conflicts which Mrs. Gaskell treats and resolves. This study emphasizes inner struggles resulting from repressive Victorian sexual mores. An examination of conflicts at a deeper -level than has previously been attempted clarifies motivations of individual characters, reveals a conscious and unconscious pattern within the novel and gives a fuller appreciation of Mrs. Gaskell's psychological insight. Included for discussion are examples of the Victorian feminine stereotype and the use of religion as sexual sublimation. A major portion of the paper concerns the growth of the heroine, Margaret Hale, from repressed sexuality to an acceptance of womanhood in Victorian society.
Date: May 1976
Creator: Brown, Kathleen B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Backflow: A Collection

Description: This collection consists of a critical preface and nine essays. The preface analyzes, first, how the imagination influences the personal journey of a writer, and second, the techniques authors use, mainly form, time, and space, to enact the imagination and propel the reader into an imagined narrative. The essays explore themes of loss, mental illness, the rift between the “real” and the “imagined” life, and the intangibility of memory itself. Collection includes the essays “Into the Snow,” “No Longer a Part,” “Borderland,” “Still Wounds,” “What Stays in Las Vegas,” “Remnants,” “The Root,” “Your Father,” and “The Land Lord.”
Date: May 2011
Creator: Kullberg, Adam
Partner: UNT Libraries

"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.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Mortazavi, Sohale Andrus
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bearclaw: a Novel

Description: Written in the tradition of American political suspense thrillers such as "Fail-Safe" and "Seven Days In May," "Bearclaw" uses their idealistic and nationalistic elements to tell a story of an American President eager to lead the world's peoples in a quest to achieve man's "highest destiny," the conquest of space. Believing that this common goal will cause mankind to come together in a spirit of brotherhood, he misreads the historical purpose of the United States and, in the end, refuses to recognize the obvious truths of human frailty and ambition even though he has been victimized by them. The Introduction is a brief survey of the sociopolitical and literary forces which combined to create the American political suspense thriller and an attempt to define its place in the literary canon.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Elston, James C. (James Cary)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Beneficent Characters in William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha Novels

Description: In William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha novels, a group of characters exists who possess three common characteristics--a closeness to mankind, a realization of the tragedy in life, and a positive response to this tragedy. The term beneficent is used to describe the twenty individuals who possess these traits. The characters are divided into two broad categories. The first includes the white and black primitives who innately possess beneficent qualities. The term primitive describes the individual who exhibits three additional traits--simplicity, nonintellectualism, and closeness to nature. The second group includes characters who must learn the attributes of beneficence in the course of the novel. All the beneficent characters serve as embodiments of the optimism found in Faulkner's fiction.
Date: May 1978
Creator: Bryant, Deborah N.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Blackland Prairie

Description: Blackland Prairie contains a scholarly preface, “Cross Timbers,” that discusses the emerging role of place as a narrative agent in contemporary fiction. The preface is followed by six original short stories. “Parts” depicts the growth of a boy's power over his family. “A Movie House to Make Us All Rich” involves the sacrifice of familial values by the son of Italian immigrants in the early 20th century. “The Place on Chenango Street” is about a man who views his world in monetary terms. “The Nine Ideas For A Happier Whole” explores the self-help industry and personal guru age. “All The Stupid Things I Said” is about a long-separated couple meeting for very different reasons. “Flooded Timber” concerns a couple who discover hidden reasons for their relationship's longevity.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Magliocco, Amos
Partner: UNT Libraries

Body Matters: Gary Snyder, The Self and Ecopoetics

Description: Gary Snyder has offered, in poems and essays, ways to acknowledge the interrelationships of humans with the more-than-human. He questions common notions of selfness as well as understandings of what it is to be human in relationship to other species and ecosystems, and he offers new paradigms for the relationship between cultures and the ecosystems in which these cultures reside. These new paradigms are rooted in a reevaluation of our attitudes toward our physical bodies which impacts our relationship to the earth and raises new possibilities for an ecological spirituality or philosophy. The sum of Snyder's endeavors is a foundation for an understanding of ecopoetics. Snyder's poem "The Trail is Not a Trail" is an interesting place to begin examining how human perceptions of the self are central to the kinds of relationships that humans believe are possible between our species and everything else. In this poem there is a curious fusion of the speaker and the trail. In fact, with each successive line they become increasingly difficult to separate. The physical self is central to Snyder's poetry because his is a poetry of the self physically rooted in ever-shifting relationship with the biosphere. The relationship of the self to the biosphere in Snyder's poetry also points toward a spiritual experience that can be called ecomysticism, by which I mean the space where new ecological paradigms and mystical understandings of the world overlap. Ecomysticism goes beyond mysticisms that describe a spiritual being longing for supernatural experience while being "unfortunately" trapped in a physical body. Ecomysticism emphasizes the spiritual and physical interrelatedness or interconnectedness of all matter, the human and the more-than-human. The integration of the spiritual and physical aspects of the self is only possible through an awareness of the interrelatedness of the self and the non-human. New paradigms for ...
Date: May 2000
Creator: Murray, Matthew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bridging the Gap: Finding a Valkyrie in a Riddle

Description: While many riddles exist in the Anglo-Saxon Exeter Book containing female characters, both as actual human females and personified objects and aspects of nature, few scholars have discussed how the anthropomorphized “females” of the riddles challenge and broaden more conventional portrayals of what it meant to be “female” in Anglo-Saxon literature. True understanding of these riddles, however, comes only with this broader view of female, a view including a mixture of ferocity and nobility of purpose and character very reminiscent of the valkyrie (OE wælcyrige), a figure mentioned only slightly in Anglo-Saxon literature, but one who deserves more prominence, particularly when evaluating the riddles of the Exeter Book and two poems textually close to the riddles, The Wife's Lament and Wulf and Eadwacer, the only two poems with a female voice in the entire Old English corpus. Riddles represent culture from a unique angle. Because of their heavy dependence upon metaphor as a vehicle or disguise for the true subject of the riddle, the poet must employ a metaphor with similar characteristics to the true riddle subject, or the tenor of the riddle. As the riddle progresses, similarities between the vehicle and the tenor are listed for the reader. Within these similarities lie the common ground between the two objects, but the riddle changes course at some point and presents a characteristic the vehicle and tenor do not have in common, which creates a gap. This gap of similarities must be wide enough for the true solution to appear, but not so wide so that the reader cannot hope to solve the mental puzzle. Because many of the riddles of the Exeter Book involve women and portrayal of objects as “female,” it is important to analyze the use of “female” as a vehicle to see what similarities arise.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Culver, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bureaucratic Writing in America: A Preliminary Study Based on Lanham's Revising Business Prose

Description: In this study, I examine two writing samples using a heuristic based on Richard A. Lanham's definition of bureaucratic writing in Revising Business Prose: noun-centered, abstract, passive-voiced, dense, and vague. I apply a heuristic to bureaucratic writing to see if Lanham's definition holds and if the writing aids or hinders the information flow necessary to democracy. After analyzing the samples for nominalizations, concrete/abstract terms, active/passive verbs, clear/unclear agents, textual density, and vague text/writers' accountability, I conclude that most of Lanham's definition holds; vague writing hinders the democratic process by not being accountable; and bureaucratic writing is expensive. Writers may humanize bureaucracies by becoming accountable. A complete study requires more samples from a wider source.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Su, Donna
Partner: UNT Libraries

Calling Up the Dead

Description: Calling Up the Dead is a collection of seven short stories which all take place over the final hours of December 31, 1999 and the first few hours of January 1, 2000. The themes of time, history, and the reactions toward the new millennium (positive, negative, indifferent) of a variety of cultures are addressed. Each of the six major continents has a story, along with its cultural perspective, delivered by narrators both young and old, three female, three male and one balcony.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Weaver, Brett
Partner: UNT Libraries

Can These Bones Live? A Collection of Stories

Description: The collection concerns itself with race, gender, masculinity, marginalization, the act of violence as a means of self expression, identity and the performance of identity, love, and loss. The collection also uses historical events-more specifically, events that are central to black culture in Northeast, Ohio- to situate the characters and witness their response to these historical events. I strive to illustrate blackness as both political and fragmented with the characters in my collection. My characters believe that what they are doing-exacting violence, abusing women, disrespecting each other- is somehow the normative; that somehow what it is that they have learned is how they should perform black identity.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Hoey, Danny M., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Naturalist Playwright

Description: This study explores Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s use of the dramatic form to challenge Herbert Spencer’s social Darwinism by offering feminist adaptations of Darwin’s theories of natural and sexual selection. As she does in her career-defining manifesto, Women & Economics (1898), Gilman in her lesser-known plays deploys her own brand of reform Darwinism to serve the feminist cause. Despite her absence in histories of modern drama, Gilman actively participated in the establishment and development of this literary, historical, and cultural movement. After situating Gilman in the context of nineteenth-century naturalist theater, this thesis examines two short dramatic dialogues she published in 1890, “The Quarrel,” and “Dame Nature Interviewed,” as well as two full-length plays, Interrupted (1909) and the Balsam Fir (1910). These plays demonstrate Gilman’s efforts to use the dramatic form in her early plays to “rehearse” for Women & Economics, and in her later drama, to “stage” the theories she presents in that book.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Tolle, Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Chaucer and the Rhetorical Limits of Exemplary Literature

Description: Though much has been made of Chaucer's saintly characters, relatively little has been made of Chaucer's approach to hagiography. While strictly speaking Chaucer produced only one true saint's life (the Second Nun's Tale), he was repeatedly intrigued and challenged by exemplary literature. The few studies of Chaucer's use of hagiography have tended to claim either his complete orthodoxy as hagiographer, or his outright parody of the genre. My study mediates the orthodoxy/parody split by viewing Chaucer as a serious, but self-conscious, hagiographer, one who experimented with the possibilities of exemplary narrative and explored the rhetorical tensions intrinsic to the genre, namely the tensions between transcendence and imminence, reverence and identification, and epideictic deliberative discourse.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Youmans, Karen DeMent
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.
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Date: May 2003
Creator: Dye, Scott Allen
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conjugal Rights in Flux in Medieval Poetry

Description: This study explores how four medieval poems—the Junius manuscript’s Genesis B and Christ and Satan and Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and The Parliament of Fowls—engage with medieval conjugal rights through their depictions of agentive female protagonists. Although many laws at this time sought to suppress the rights of women, especially those of wives’, both pre- and post-conquest poets illustrate women who act as subjects, exercising legal rights. Medieval canon and common law supported a certain amount of female agency in marriage but was not consistent in its understanding of what that was. By considering the shifts in law from Anglo-Saxon and fourteenth century England in relation to wives’ rights and female consent, my project asserts that the authors of Genesis B and Christ and Satan and the late-medieval poet Chaucer position their heroines to defend legislation that supports female agency in matters of marriage. The Anglo-Saxon authors do so by conceiving of Eve’s role in the Fall and harrowing of hell as similar to the legal role of a forespeca. Through Eve’s mimesis of Satan’s rhetoric, she is able to reveal an alternate way of conceiving of the law as merciful instead of legalistic. Chaucer also engages with a woman’s position in society under the law through his representation of Criseyde’s role in her courtship with Troilus in his epic romance, Troilus and Criseyde. Chaucer disrupts his audiences’ expectations by placing Criseyde as the more agentive party in her courtship with Troilus and shows that women might hope to the most authority in marriage by withholding their consent. In his last dream vision, The Parliament of Fowls, Chaucer engages again with the importance of female consent in marriage but takes his interrogation of conjugal rights a step further by imagining an alternate legal system through Nature, a female authority ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Ward, Jessica D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Conscience of Macbeth

Description: Whatever are the other merits of Macbeth, it must be classed as one of the most penetrating studies of conscience in literature. Shakespeare does not attempt to describe in the drama how the ordinary criminal would react to evil, but how Shakespeare himself would have felt if he had fallen into crime. 1 The ramifications of this conflict between the conscience of a man of genius and the supernatural forces of wickedness, therefore, assume immense dimensions. "Macbeth leaves on most readers a profound impression of the misery of a guilty conscience and the retribution of crime . . . But what Shakespeare perhaps felt even more deeply, when he wrote this play, was the incalculability of evil--that in meddling with it human beings do they know not what."2 This drama displays an evil not to be accounted for simply in terms of the protagonist's will or his causal relationships to evil. It is an agency which is beyond the power of Macbeth's will; and his conscience, as powerful and imaginative as it is, can only warn him that he is involving himself in a force which will cause him unexpected and hideous mental pain. If there is a moral in Macbeth, it is obviously that men should not tamper with evil, for not even a deep-rooted conscience and an ascendant will can contend with its influence.
Date: May 1963
Creator: Edwards, James A.
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.
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Hunziker, April
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