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Animals That Die

Description: The thesis has two parts. Part I is a critical essay entitled "Lessons Under the Amfalula." Part II is the collection of poems entitled "Animals That Die."
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Campbell, Susan Maxwell

"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

Between the Waves: Truth-Telling, Feminism, and Silence in the Modernist Era Poetics of Laura Riding Jackson and Muriel Rukeyser

Description: This paper presents the lives and early feminist works of two modernist era poets, Laura Riding Jackson and Muriel Rukeyser. Despite differences of style, the two poets shared a common theme of essentialist feminism before its popularization by 1950s and 60s second wave feminists. The two poets also endured periods of poetic silence or self censorship which can be attributed to modernism, McCarthyism, and rising conservatism. Analysis of their poems helps to remedy their exclusion from the common canon.
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Date: December 2006
Creator: Cain, Christina

The Feminine Ancestral Footsteps: Symbolic Language Between Women in The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables

Description: This study examines Hawthorne's use of symbols, particularly flowers, in The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables. Romantic ideals stressed the full development of the self¬reliant individual, and romantic writers such as Hawthorne believed the individual would fully develop not only spiritually, but also intellectually by taking instruction from the natural world. Hawthorne's heroines reach their full potential as independent women in two steps: they first work together to defeat powerful patriarchies, and they then learn to read natural symbols to cultivate their artistic sensibilities which lead them to a full development of their intellect and spirituality. The focus of this study is Hawthorne's narrative strategy; how the author uses symbols as a language his heroines use to communicate from one generation to the next. In The Scarlet Letter, for instance, the symbol of a rose connects three generations of feminine reformers, Ann Hutchinson, Hester Prynne, and Pearl. By the end of the novel, Pearl interprets a rose as a symbol of her maternal line, which links her back to Ann Hutchinson. Similarly in The House of the Seven Gables Alice, Hepzibah, and Phoebe Pyncheon are part of a family line of women who work together to overthrow the Pyncheon patriarchy. The youngest heroine, Phoebe, comes to an understanding of her great, great aunt Alice's message from the posies her feminine ancestor plants in the Pyncheon garden. Through Phoebe's interpretation of the flowers, she deciphers how the cultivation of a sense of artistic appreciation is essential to the progress of American culture.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Serrano, Gabriela

"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

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?
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Damask, Tarah

Language Choice in the ESL and FL Classrooms: Teachers and Students Speak Out

Description: This paper compares English as a second language (ESL) and foreign language (FL) teachers' and students' perspectives regarding target language (TL) and first language (L1) use in the respective classrooms. Teachers and students were given questionnaires asking their opinions of a rule that restricts students' L1 use. Questionnaires were administered to 46 ESL students, 43 FL students, 14 ESL teachers, and 15 FL teachers in Texas secondary public schools. Results were analyzed using SPSS and R. Results demonstrated an almost statistical difference between perspectives of ESL and FL students regarding TL and L1 use, while teacher results demonstrated no statistical difference between the groups. Students had a more positive perspective of the rule than teachers.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Fernandez, Cody

"Mad Mary Sane" and Other Stories

Description: The following is a multi-genre collection, including short shorts, short fiction, non-fiction, and drama. Each piece utilizes Gothic motifs and dark comedy in an effort to explore life and loss.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Myers, Amanda Sullivan

Pulling Tangled Strings: "The Puppeteer" and Other Stories

Description: Pulling Tangled Strings: "The Puppeteer" and Other Stories is a collection of stories with strong thematic and emotional connections that includes an opening preface describing the process used when writing the stories. Each of the stories is united by a main character that desperately wants to gain control of his environment. From a character acting out a classic revenge tale on his friend to a comatose teenager victimized by an ambiguous tragedy, these are characters who have been put into difficult life situations and need to feel like they are pulling the strings in their lives again. In all cases, however, the characters come to find that control does not come easily and that the motivations for their behavior are never clear cut, even to themselves.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Berryman, Archer

Reforming Ritual: Protestantism, Women, and Ritual on the Renaissance Stage

Description: My dissertation focuses on representations of women and ritual on the Renaissance stage, situating such examples within the context of the Protestant Reformation. The renegotiation of the value, place, and power of ritual is a central characteristic of the Protestant Reformation in early modern England. The effort to eliminate or redirect ritual was a crucial point of interest for reformers, for most of whom the corruption of religion seemed bound to its ostentatious and idolatrous outer trappings. Despite the opinions of theologians, however, receptivity toward the structure, routine, and familiarity of traditional Catholicism did not disappear with the advent of Protestantism. Reformers worked to modify those rituals that were especially difficult to eradicate, maintaining some sense of meaning without portraying confidence in ceremony itself. I am interested in how early Protestantism dealt with the presence of elements (in worship, daily practice, literary or dramatic representation) that it derogatorily dubbed popish, and how women had a particular place of importance in this dialogue. Through the drama of Shakespeare, Webster, and Middleton, along with contemporary religious and popular sources, I explore how theatrical representations of ritual involving women create specific sites of cultural and theological negotiation. These representations both reflect and resist emerging attitudes toward women and ritual fashioned by Reformation thought, granting women a particular authority in the spiritual realm.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Reynolds, Paige Martin

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

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

The Sky in Our Mouths

Description: I believe that poetry has survived for thousands of years because it provides people with a transpersonal connection that they can't find elsewhere. I look for poetry that is more than an emotional expression, more than witty word play, and more than an interesting observation. I want poetry to give me that inspirational spark, that glimpse into a world beyond my own. Poems that succeed in doing this force me into a perspective that I haven't previously imagined by yoking together two or more seemingly disparate elements. This tension between the old elements and the new link between them creates energy for the poem. This poetic nexus contributes to the transpersonal experience that I seek.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Tyler, William Aldon

Stranger Than Fact

Description: As a dyslexic child, I always had trouble finding my voice. It's hard to express yourself in words, when you struggle with them. For me words always come later when I write. But most people don't understand how I feel. If your synapses fire off at the right time how can you image what it would be like it they didn't? That's where fiction comes in. If you can override someone's lack of experience with the use of a metaphor, then by distancing the reader from reality with an allegory, you can get to truth that's hard to capture any other way. You can also simply tell the truth in your writing with plain nonfiction. For me, fiction and nonfiction are a way for me to claim my voice and convey truth. Only a reader can decided what that truth looks like.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Saxton, Kelly E.

Technical Communication and the Needs of Small 501(c)(3) Organizations

Description: This exploratory study examines documentation practices and processes in ten small non-profit organizations. The objectives of this study were to answer the following two research questions: (1) What organizational needs do small non-profit organizations have that are relevant to technical communication? and (2) How are small 501(c)(3) organizations attempting to meet these needs? Which of these attempted solutions are ineffective? Semi-structured interviews were conducted with two people from each organization: the executive director and a volunteer. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed, and grounded theory was used to identify coding categories related to documentation development. Primary findings suggest that interviewees are aware that they need documentation, yet they often postpone developing such documentation until problems develop. The study findings also suggest that interviewees across different nonprofit organizations value documentation for similar reasons. Strategies are provided for technical communicators interested in working with nonprofit organizations, and additional research avenues are identified.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Walton, Rebecca