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Heroism and Failure in Anglo-Saxon Poetry: the Ideal and the Real within the Comitatus

Description: This dissertation discusses the complicated relationship (known as the comitatus) of kings and followers as presented in the heroic poetry of the Anglo-Saxons. The anonymous poets of the age celebrated the ideals of their culture but consistently portrayed the real behavior of the characters within their works. Other studies have examined the ideals of the comitatus in general terms while referring to the poetry as a body of work, or they have discussed them in particular terms while referring to one or two poems in detail. This study is both broader and deeper in scope than are the earlier works. In a number of poems I have identified the heroic ideals and examined the poetic treatment of those ideals. In order to establish the necessary background, Chapter I reviews the historical sources, such as Tacitus, Bede, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and the work of modern historians. Chapter II discusses such attributes of the king as wisdom, courage, and generosity. Chapter III examines the role of aristocratic women within the society. Chapter IV describes the proper behavior of followers, primarily their loyalty in return for treasures earlier bestowed. Chapter V discusses perversions and failures of the ideal. The dissertation concludes that, contrary to the view that Anglo-Saxon literature idealized the culture, the poets presented a reasonably realistic picture of their age. Anglo-Saxon heroic poetry celebrates ideals of behavior which, even when they can be attained, are not successful in the real world of political life.
Date: May 1989
Creator: Nelson, Nancy Susan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Historical Reconstruction and Self-Search: A Study of Thomas Pynchon's V.. John Barth's The Sot-Weed Factor. Norman Mailer's The Armies of the Nicrht. Robert Coover's The Public Burning, and E.L. Doctorow's The Book of Daniel

Description: A search for self through historical reconstruction constitutes a crucial concern of the American postmodern historical novels of Pynchon, Barth, Mailer, Coover, and Doctorow. This concern consists of a self-conscious dramatization, paralleled by contemporary theorists' arguments, of the constructedness of history and individual subject. A historian-character's process of historical inquiry and narrative-making foregrounded in these novels represents the efforts by the postmodern self to (re)construct identity (or identities) in a constructing context of discourse and ideology.
Date: August 1995
Creator: Pak, Inchan
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Human Body is Not Designed for Ambivalence: Odes

Description: The critical analysis section of this dissertation seeks to define the ode using examples in translation from Greek and Latin odes and examples in English written from the 1500s to the 2000s. Although most definitions of the ode contend that this subgenre of the lyric is an occasional poem of praise that includes a meditative or mythological element, the ode is far more complex. An ode is an occasional poem, but it works to privilege rather than strictly praise its subject, allowing for the speaker's ambivalence toward the subject. Meditation is a key element of the ode, since the poet uses the subject as a means for moving to the meditation or as a conduit through which the meditation occurs. The meditation in the poem is also a way for the poet or speaker to negotiate the relationship between the subject and herself; thus, the ode is concerned with power, since the poet must place herself or the speaker in relation to the subject. Power thus may be granted to either the speaker or the subject; the poet names and speaks of the subject, and often the poet names and speaks of himself in relation to the subject. Additionally, odes usually contain some exhortation, generally directed to the subject if not to those surrounding the reader or capable of "listening in" to the performance of the poem. This definition, it should be noted, is intended to be fluid. In order for a poem to be relevant to its age, it must either adhere to or usefully challenge the contemporary concerns. Thus, while many of the odes discussed will contain the elements of this definition, others will work against the definition. In the remainder of the introduction, I examine ancient models and twentieth- and twenty-first century examples of the ode as ...
Date: December 2007
Creator: Walker, Tammy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Iconic Ida: Tennyson's The Princess and Her Uses

Description: Alfred Lord Tennyson's The Princess: A Medley has posed interpretative difficulties for readers since its 1847 debut. Critics, editors, and artists contemporary with Tennyson as well as in this century have puzzled over the poem's stance on the issue of the so-called Woman Question. Treating Tennyson as the first reader of the poem yields an understanding of the title character, Princess Ida, as an ambassador of Tennyson's optimistic and evolutionary views of human development and links his work to that of visionary educators of nineteenth-century England. Later artists, however, produced adaptations of the poem that twisted its hopefulness into satirical commentary, reduced its complexities to ease the task of reading, and put it to work in various causes, many ranged against the improvement of women's condition. In particular, a series of editions carried The Princess into various nations, classrooms, and homes, promoting interpretations that often obscure Tennyson's cautious optimism.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Guidici, Cynthia (Cynthia Dianne)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Imagining The Reader: Vernacular Representation and Specialized Vocabulary in Medieval English Literature

Description: William Langland's The Vision of Piers Plowman was probably the first medieval English poem to achieve a national audience because Langland chose to write in the vernacular and he used the specialized vocabularies of his readership to open the poem to them. During the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, writers began using the vernacular in an attempt to allow all English people access to their texts. They did so consciously, indicating their intent in prologues and envois when they formally address readers. Some writers, like Langland and the author of Mankind, actually use representatives of the rural classes as primary characters who exhibit the beliefs and lives of the rural population. Anne Middleton's distinction between public-the readership an author imagined-and audience-the readership a work achieved-allows modern critics to discuss both public and audience and try to determine how the two differed. While the public is always only a presumption, the language in which an author writes and the cultural events depicted by the literature can provide a more plausible estimate of the public. The vernacular allowed authors like Gower, Chaucer, the author of Mankind, and Langland to use the specialized vocabularies of the legal and rural communities to discuss societal problems. They also use representatives of the communities to further open the texts to a vernacular public. These open texts provide some representation for the rural and common people's ideas about the other classes to be heard. Langland in particular uses the specialized vocabularies and representative characters to establish both the faults of all English people and a common guide they can follow to seek moral lives through Truth. His rural character, Piers the Plowman, allows rural readers to identify with the messages in the text while showing upper class and educated readers that they too can emulate a rural ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Walther, James T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

In Awesome Wonder

Description: The dissertation is a collection of eighteen short stories. These stories relate the life experiences of the first-person narrator and chronicle a period of twenty years. They are arranged in five thematic groups: Expectations, Questions, Lighter Moments, Answers, and Separation. The focus of each one represents the narrator's experiences with his father, as the narrator attempts to understand a man who exerts such control over his life. Expectations contains three stories, with the first depicting the narrator's earliest association with his father. The other two represent significant growth experiences. The five stories in the Questions portion focus on the youthful narrator as he tries to understand the reasons behind his father's values and moral lessons. In the section, Lighter Moments, there are four stories in which the narrator is in his late teens and recalls four incidents that lacked the usual serious undertones prevalent in most of his experiences with his father. Answers is composed of three stories in which the narrator, nearing manhood, struggles with feelings of disillusionment with the life his father has planned for him, as well as the realization that his father controls every aspect of his life. The final section of three stories, Separation, depicts the narrator, a young man in his twenties with his own family, coping with the need to escape his father's control.
Date: August 1996
Creator: McMurtry, William Charlie
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Incest Taboo in Wuthering Heights : A Modern Appraisal

Description: A modern interpretation of Wuthering Heights suggests that an unconscious incest taboo impeded Catherine and her foster brother, Heathcliff, from achieving normal sexual union and led them to seek union after death. Insights from anthropology, psychology, and sociology provide a key to many of the subtleties of the novel by broadening our perspectives on the causes of incest, its manifestations, and its consequences. Anthropology links the incest taboo to primitive systems of totemism and rules of exogamy, under which the two lovers' marriage would have been disallowed because they are members of the same clan. Psychological studies provide insight into Heathcliff and Catherine's abnormal relationship—emotionally passionate but sexually dispassionate—and their even more bizarre behavior—sadistic, necrophilic, and vampiristic—all of which can be linked to incest. The psychological manifestations merge with the moral consequences in Bronte's inverted image of paradise; as in Milton's Paradise, incest is both a metaphor for evil and a symbol of pre-Lapsarian innocence. The psychological and moral consequences of incest in the first generation carry over into the second generation, resulting in a complex doubling of characters, names, situations, narration, and time sequences that is characteristic of the self-enclosed, circular nature of incest. An examination of Emily Bronte's family background demonstrates that she was sociologically and psychologically predisposed to write a story with an underlying incest motif.
Date: August 1992
Creator: McGuire, Kathryn B. (Kathryn Bezard)
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.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Haines, Robert M.
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Interactions Between Texts, Illustrations, and Readers: The Empiricist, Imperialist Narratives and Polemics of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Description: While literary critics heretofore have subordinated Conan Doyle to more "canonical" writers, the author argues that his writings enrich our understanding of the ways in which Victorians and Edwardians constructed their identity as imperialists and that we therefore cannot afford to overlook Conan Doyle's work.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Favor, Lesli J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Into the Woods: Wilderness Imagery as Representation of Spiritual and Emotional Transition in Medieval Literature

Description: Wilderness landscape, a setting common in Romantic literature and painting, is generally overlooked in the art of the Middle Ages. While the medieval garden and the city are well mapped, the medieval wilderness remains relatively trackless. Yet the use of setting to represent interior experience may be traced back to the Neo-Platonic use of space and movement to define spiritual development. Separating themselves as far as possible from the material world, such writers as Origen and Plotinus avoided use of representational detail in their spatial models; however, both the visual artists and the authors who adopted the Neo-Platonic paradigm, elaborated their emotional spaces with the details of the classical locus amoenus and of the exegetical desert, while retaining the philosophical concern with spiritual transition. Analysis of wilderness as an image for spiritual and emotional transition in medieval literature and art relates the texts to an iconographic tradition which, along with motifs of city and garden, provides a spatial representation of interior progress, as the medieval dialectic process provides a paradigm for intellectual resolution. Such an analysis relates the motif to the core of medieval intellectual experience, and further suggests significant connections between medieval and modern narratives in regard to the representation of interior experience. The Divine Comedy and related Continental texts employ both classical and exegetical sources in the representation of psychological transition and spiritual conversion. Similar techniques are also apparent in English texts such as Beowulf and the Anglo-Saxon elegies, in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Book of the Duchess, The House of Fame, and Troilus and Criseyde, and in the northern English The Pearl and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. These literary texts, further, include both ideas and techniques which are analogous to those of visual arts, where frescos and altarpieces show the wilderness as metaphor for transition, and ...
Date: August 1997
Creator: Sholty, Janet Poindexter
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Investigation of the Semantics of Active and Inverse Systems

Description: This study surveys pronominal reference marking in active and inverse languages. Active and inverse languages have in common that they distinguish two sets of reference marking, which are referred to as Actor and Undergoer. The choice of one series of marking over another is shown to be semantically and pragmatically determined.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Yang, Lixin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Irony, Humor, and Ontological Relationality in Literature

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 (1598-99), Othello (1603-4), and The Winter's Tale (1609-11) so as to show how artistic positioning creatively constructs a relational system of dynamic interactions to circulate social ideals and values. In so doing, this dissertation is aimed at revealing the aesthetic values of literature and the objective scope of literary discourse rather than providing yet another analytical paradigm dependent primarily on a single literary subject. Thus, the ontological study is proposed as an alternative, yet primary, dimension of literary criticism and theoretical practice.
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Date: August 2012
Creator: Kim, Soon Bae
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"Is She Going to Die or Survive with Her Baby?": The Aftermath of Illegitimate Pregnancies in the Twentieth Century American Novels

Description: This dissertation is mainly based on the reading of three American novels to explore how female characters deal with their illegitimate pregnancies and how their solutions re-shape their futures and affect their inner growth. Chapter 1 discusses Dorinda Oakley's premarital pregnancy in Ellen Glasgow's Barren Ground and draws the circle of limits from Barbara Welter's "four cardinal virtues" (purity, submissiveness, domesticity, and piety) which connect to the analogous female roles (daughter, sister, wife, and mother). Dorinda's childless survival reconstructs a typical household from her domination and absence of maternity. Chapter 2 examines Ántonia Shimerda's struggles and endurance in My Ántonia by Willa Cather before and after Ántonia gives birth to a premarital daughter. Ántonia devotes herself to being a caring mother and to looking after a big family although her marriage is also friendship-centered. Chapter 3 adopts a different approach to analyze Charlotte Rittenmeyer's extramarital pregnancy in The Wild Palms by William Faulkner. As opposed to Dorinda and Ántonia who re-enter domesticity to survive, Charlotte runs out on her family and dies of a botched abortion. To help explain the aftermath of illicit pregnancies, I extend or shorten John Duvall's formula of female role mutations: "virgin>sexually active (called whore)>wife" to examine the riddles of female survival and demise. The overall argument suggests that one way or another, nature, society, and family are involved in illegitimately pregnant women's lives, and the more socially compliant a pregnant woman becomes after her transgression, the better chance she can survive with her baby.
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Liu, Li-Hsion
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Jeans, Boots, and Starry Skies: Tales of a Gay Country-and-Western Bar and Places Nearby

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

Description: The term "feminist," when applied to Wilkie Collins, implies he was concerned with rectifying the oppression of women in domestic life as well as with promoting equal rights between the sexes. This study explores Collins the "feminist" by analyzing his portrayals of women, particularly his most powerful feminine creations: his villainesses. Although this focus is somewhat limited, it allows for a detailed analysis of the development of Collins's attitudes towards powerful women from the beginning to the end of his career. It examines the relationship between Collins's developing moral attitudes and social beliefs, on the one hand, and the ideas of Victorian feminists such as Josephine Butler and feminist sympathizers such as John Stuart Mill, on the other. This interaction, while never overt, reveals the ambivalence and complexity of Collins's "feminist" attitudes. Of the five novels in this study, Antonina (1850), Basil (1852), Armadale (1866), Jezebel's Daughter (1880), and The Legacy of Cain (1889), only one was published at the zenith of Collins's career in the 1860s. Each of the villainesses in these novels, their ideas and experiences, are crucial to understanding Collins's "feminist" impulses. Looking at them as powerful women who detest domestic oppression, one becomes aware that Collins feared such powerful women. But at the same time, he found something fiercely attractive about them. One also realizes that he was never fully capable of breaking the prevailing literary conventions which dictated that wickedness be punished and virtue rewarded (The Legacy of Cain is perhaps an exception, depending on how one views Helena's feminist revolution). The reading of Collins's novels offered in this study presents a broad, eclectic approach, utilizing the tenets of a number of different theoretical approaches such as new historicism, psychoanalytic criticism, and deconstruction, as well as feminist criticism. It contextualizes Collins's novels and his "feminist" ...
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Colvin, Trey Vincent
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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

John Fowles: a Critical Study

Description: This critical introduction to the works of John Fowles focuses upon his three novels, with secondary attention to his poetry, essays, and The Aristos, his non-fiction book of personal philosophy. Giving some biographical detail, the first chapter treats the influence of other writers upon Fowles's work and discusses his thought--especially as it appears in The Aristos, the poems, and the essays. The second chapter is a study of The Magus, Fowles's first novel, although published second. The Aristos is especially important to an understanding of this consolidation of personal philosophy into a fictional structure; the two key influences upon The Magus are Alain-Fournier's Le Grand Meaulnes and Jungian psychology. The third chapter deals with The Collector, revealing much of Fowles's feeling about the artist in society and the imbalance of social justice that spawns ignorance and cruelty. The fourth chapter examines his most successful novel, The French Lieutenant's Woman, unusual for its combination of thematic modernity with Victorian narrative style. The final chapter summarizes Fowles's leading place in contemporary fiction three months before publication of The Ebony Tower, his forthcoming collection including four short stories and one novella. Fowles's fiction has established him among the finest of today's artists in British fiction and one of the leading writers in the world. Both critical and general readers have accepted his three novels with enthusiasm, and his distinctive poetry and essays may someday further enhance his reputation.
Date: August 1974
Creator: Huffaker, Robert, 1936-
Partner: UNT Libraries

John Graves and the Pastoral Tradition

Description: John Graves's creative non-fiction has earned him respect in Texas letters as a seminal writer but scarce critical commentary of his work outside the region. Ecological criticism examines how language, culture and the land interact, providing a context in which to discuss Graves in relation to the southwestern literary tradition of J. Frank Dobie, Walter P. Webb, and Roy Bedichek, to southern pastoral in the Virgilian mode, and to American nature writing. Graves's rhetorical strategies, including his appropriation of form, his non-polemical voice, his experimentation with narrative persona, and his utilization of traditional tropes of metaphor, metonymy, and irony, establish him as a conservative and Romantic writer of place concerned with the friction between traditional agrarian values and the demands of late-twentieth-century urban/technological existence. Sequentially, Graves's three main booksGoodbye to a River (1960), Hard Scrabble (1974), and From a Limestone Ledge (1980)represent a movement from the pastoral mode of the outward journey and return to the more domestic world of georgic, from the mode of leisure and contemplation to the demands and rewards of hard work and ownership. As such they represent not only progression or maturation in the arc of the narrator's life but a desire to reconcile ideological poles first examined so long ago in Virgil: leisure and work, freedom and responsibility, rural and urban values.
Date: August 2001
Creator: Anderson, David Roy
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
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Knowing is Seaing: Conceptual Metaphor in the Fiction of Kate Chopin

Description: This paper examines the metaphoric structures that underlie Chopin's major novel, The Awakening, as well as those underlying selected short stories. Drawing on the modern theory of metaphor described by Mark Turner, George Lakoff, and Mark Johnson, the author argues that conceptual metaphors are the structural elements that underlie our experiences, thoughts, and words, and that their presence is revealed through our everyday language. Since these conceptual structures are representative of human thought and language, they are also present in literary texts, and specifically in Chopin's texts. Conceptual metaphors and the linguistic forms that result from them are so basic a part of our thinking that we automatically construct our utterances by means of them. Accordingly, conceptual metaphor mirrors human thought processes, as demonstrated by the way we describe our experiences.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Green, Suzanne Disheroon, 1963-
Partner: UNT Libraries

Language and Identity in Post-1800 Irish Drama

Description: Using a sociolinguistic and post-colonial approach, I analyze Irish dramas that speak about language and its connection to national identity. In order to provide a systematic and wide-ranging study, I have selected plays written at approximately fifty-year intervals and performed before Irish audiences contemporary to their writing. The writers selected represent various aspects of Irish society--religiously, economically, and geographically--and arguably may be considered the outstanding theatrical Irish voices of their respective generations. Examining works by Alicia LeFanu, Dion Boucicault, W.B. Yeats, and Brian Friel, I argue that the way each of these playwrights deals with language and identity demonstrates successful resistance to the destruction of Irish identity by the dominant language power. The work of J. A. Laponce and Ronald Wardhaugh informs my language dominance theory. Briefly, when one language pushes aside another language, the cultural identity begins to shift. The literature of a nation provides evidence of the shifting perception. Drama, because of its performance qualities, provides the most complex and complete literary evidence. The effect of the performed text upon the audience validates a cultural reception beyond what would be possible with isolated readers. Following a theoretical introduction, I analyze the plays in chronological order. Alicia LeFanu's The Sons of Erin; or, Modern Sentiment (1812) gently pleads for equal treatment in a united Britain. Dion Boucicault's three Irish plays, especially The Colleen Bawn (1860) but also Arrah-na-Pogue (1864) and The Shaughraun (1875), satirically conceal rebellious nationalist tendencies under the cloak of melodrama. W. B. Yeats's The Countess Cathleen (1899) reveals his romantic hope for healing the national identity through the powers of language. However, The Only Jealousy of Emer (1919) and The Death of Cuchulain (1939) reveal an increasing distrust of language to mythically heal Ireland. Brian Friel's Translations (1980), supported by The Communication Cord (1982) and Making ...
Date: May 1994
Creator: Duncan, Dawn E. (Dawn Elaine)
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Laureates’ Lens: Exposing the Development of Literary History and Literary Criticism From Beneath the Dunce Cap

Description: In this project, I examine the impact of early literary criticism, early literary history, and the history of knowledge on the perception of the laureateship as it was formulated at specific moments in the eighteenth century. Instead of accepting the assessments of Pope and Johnson, I reconstruct the contemporary impact of laureate writings and the writing that fashioned the view of the laureates we have inherited. I use an array of primary documents (from letters and journal entries to poems and non-fiction prose) to analyze the way the laureateship as a literary identity was constructed in several key moments: the debate over hack literature in the pamphlet wars surrounding Elkanah Settle’s The Empress of Morocco (1673), the defense of Colley Cibber and his subsequent attempt to use his expertise of theater in An Apology for the Life of Colley Cibber (1740), the consolidation of hack literature and state-sponsored poetry with the crowning of Colley Cibber as the King of the Dunces in Pope’s The Dunciad in Four Books (1742), the fashioning of Thomas Gray and William Mason as laureate rejecters in Mason’s Memoirs of the Life and Writings of William Whitehead (1788), Southey’s progressive work to abolish laureate task writing in his laureate odes 1813-1821, and, finally, in Wordsworth’s refusal to produce any laureate task writing during his tenure, 1843-1850. In each case, I explain how the construction of this office was central to the consolidation of literary history and to forging authorial identity in the same period. This differs from the conventional treatment of the laureates because I expose the history of the versions of literary history that have to date structured how scholars understand the laureate, and by doing so, reveal how the laureateship was used to create, legitimate and disseminate the model of literary history we still ...
Date: December 2015
Creator: Moore, Lindsay Emory
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

Description: Traditionally, K-5 students' writing has had a primarily academic aim-to help students master concepts and express themselves. Even if students take a professional writing course later, they typically do not have the opportunity to practice-over the long period of time mastery requires-the non-academic writing skills they will be required to use as part of their jobs and in their civic life. Based on a limited K-5 study, Texas' McKinney Independent School District is doing a good job of preparing students at the elementary-school level in the areas of collaboration and presentation. A fair job of helping elementary-school students understand the communication situation, define audience, clarify purpose, gather and evaluate resources, and test usability. [And] a poor job of helping elementary-school students with analysis and organization. With their teachers' help, K-5 students eventually grasp the communication situation and can broadly identify their audience and purpose, but they do not appear to select words, format, communication style, or design based on that audience and purpose. Their writer-based focus affects their presentations as well, although they do present frequently. If teachers routinely incorporated audience and purpose considerations into every aspect of communication assignments (format, communication style, design), students would be better prepared for non-academic communication. Texas pre-service teachers practice the types of documents they will write on the job but do not receive training in design or style. Likewise, they practice researching, collaborating, and presenting but receive little training in those skills. If Texas K-5 teachers are to supplement the curriculum with professional writing principles, as trends suggest they should, education programs need to focus on these principles in their pre-service teacher curriculum. Professional writing principles need to become part of ingrained writing patterns because these are the skills that will best serve students after they graduate, both in their careers and civic ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Treviño, Marlea
Partner: UNT Libraries