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Absalom, Absalom! A Study of Structure

Description: The conclusion drawn from this study is that the arrangement of material in Absalom, Absalom! is unified and purposeful. The structure evokes that despair that is the common denominator of mankind. It reveals both the bond between men and the separation of men; and though some of the most dramatic episodes in the novel picture the union of men in brotherly love, most of the material and certainly the arrangement of the material emphasize the estrangement of men. In addition, by juxtaposing chapters, each separated from the others by its own structural and thematic qualities, Faulkner places a burden of interpretation on the reader suggestive of the burden of despair that overwhelms the protagonists of the novel.
Date: August 1973
Creator: Major, Sylvia Beth Bigby

After the Planes

Description: The dissertation consists of a critical preface and a novel. The preface analyzes what it terms “polyvocal” novels, or novels employing multiple points of view, as well as “layered storytelling,” or layers of textuality within novels, such as stories within stories. Specifically, the first part of the preface discusses polyvocality in twenty-first century American novels, while the second part explores layered storytelling in novels responding to World War II or the terrorist attacks of 9/11. The preface analyzes the advantages and difficulties connected to these techniques, as well as their aptitude for reflecting the fractured, disconnected, and subjective nature of the narratives we construct to interpret traumatic experiences. It also acknowledges the necessity—despite its inherent limitations—of using language to engage with this fragmentation and cope with its challenges. The preface uses numerous novels as examples and case studies, and it also explores these concepts and techniques in relation to the process of writing the novel After the Planes. After the Planes depicts multiple generations of a family who utilize storytelling as a means to work through grief, hurt, misunderstanding, and loss—whether from interpersonal conflicts or from war. Against her father’s wishes, a young woman moves in with her nearly-unknown grandfather, struggling to understand the rifts in her family and how they have shaped her own identity. She reads a book sent to her by her father, which turns out to be his story of growing up in the years following World War II. The book was intercepted and emended by her grandfather, who inserts his own commentary throughout, complicating her father’s hopes of reconciliation. The novel moves between two main narratives, one set primarily in 1951 and the other in the days and weeks immediately prior to September 11, 2001.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Boswell, Timothy

AGenesis: A Novel

Description: AGenesis is a novel of "postmortal fiction" set entirely in an afterlife. Nessie, a recently dead woman, accidentally kills an already-dead man, and in the confusion that follows, sets out to discover how he could have died and what after-afterlife he might have gone to. During her travels, she is raped and then help captive by a city of tormented souls; she descends into madness until rescued by children, and she and her newborn but "undead" daughter set out again, this time to find the end of the afterlife. Nessie's daughter eventually seeks a way to enter a living world she's never known, while Nessie tries to end her suffering and find peace.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Snoek-Brown, Samuel Jeremiah

The Agolmirth Conspiracy

Description: Written in the tradition of the classic spy novels of Ian Fleming and the detective novels of Raymond Chandler, The Agolmirth Conspiracy represents the return to the thriller of its traditional elements of romanticism, humanism, fast-moving action, and taut suspense, and a move away from its cynicism and dehumanization as currently practiced by authors such as John Le Carre' and Tom Clancy. Stanford Torrance, an ex-cop raised on "old-fashioned" notions of uncompromising good and naked evil and largely ignorant of computer systems and high-tech ordinance, finds himself lost in a "modern" world of shadowy operatives, hidden agendas, and numerous double-crosses. He is nevertheless able to triumph over that world when he puts his own honor, his own dignity, and his very life on the line, proving to himself and to his adversaries that such things can still make things easier to see amid today's swirling moral fog.
Date: December 1996
Creator: Elston, James C. (James Cary)

Always Painting the Future: Utopian Desire and the Women's Movement in Selected Works by United States Female Writers at the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Description: This study explores six utopias by female authors written at the turn of the twentieth century: Mary Bradley Lane's Mizora (1881), Alice Ilgenfritz Jones and Ella Merchant's Unveiling Parallel (1893), Eloise O. Richberg's Reinstern (1900), Lena J. Fry's Other Worlds (1905), Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Herland (1915), and Martha Bensley Bruère's Mildred Carver, USA (1919). While the right to vote had become the central, most important point of the movement, women were concerned with many other issues affecting their lives. Positioned within the context of the late nineteenth century women's rights movement, this study examines these "sideline" concerns of the movement such as home and gender-determined spheres, motherhood, work, marriage, independence, and self-sufficiency and relates them to the transforming character of female identity at the time. The study focuses primarily on analyzing the expression of female historical desire through utopian genre and on explicating the contradictory nature of utopian production.
Date: August 2009
Creator: Balic, Iva

The American Eve: Gender, Tragedy, and the American Dream

Description: America has adopted as its own the Eden myth, which has provided the mythology of the American dream. This New Garden of America, consequently, has been a masculine garden because of its dependence on the myth of the Fall. Implied in the American dream is the idea of a garden without Eve, or at least without Eve's sin, traditionally associated with sexuality. Our canonical literature has reflected these attitudes of devaluing feminine power or making it a negative force: The Scarlet Letter, Moby-Dick, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, and The Sound and the Fury. To recreate the Garden myth, Americans have had to reimagine Eve as the idealized virgin, earth mother and life-giver, or as Adam's loyal helpmeet, the silent figurehead. But Eve resists her new roles: Hester Prynne embellishes her scarlet letter and does not leave Boston; the feminine forces in Moby-Dick defeat the monomaniacal masculinity of Ahab; Miss Watson, the Widow Douglas, and Aunt Sally's threat of civilization chase Huck off to the territory despite the beckoning of the feminine river; Daisy retreats unscathed into her "white palace" after Gatsby's death; and Caddy tours Europe on the arm of a Nazi officer long after Quentin's suicide, Benjy's betrayal, and Jason's condemnation. Each of these male writers--Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, Fitzgerald, and Faulkner--deals with the American dream differently; however, in each case the dream fails because Eve will not go away, refusing to be the Other, the scapegoat, or the muse to man's dreams. These works all deal in some way with the notion of the masculine American dream of perfection in the Garden at the expense of a fully realized feminine presence. This failure of the American dream accounts for the decidedly tragic tone of these culturally significant American novels.
Date: May 1993
Creator: Long, Kim Martin

American Grotesque from Nineteenth Century to Modernism: the Latter's Acceptance of the Exceptional

Description: This dissertation explores a history of the grotesque and its meaning in art and literature along with those of its related term, the arabesque, since their co-existence, specifically in literature, is later treated by a well-known nineteenth-century American writer in Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque- Theories or views of the grotesque (used in literature), both in Europe and America, belong to twelve theorists of different eras, ranging from the sixteenth century to the present period, especially Modernism (approximately from 1910 to 1945)--Rabelais, Hegel, Scott, Wright, Hugo, Symonds, Ruskin, Santayana, Kayser, Bakhtin, (William Van) O'Connor, and Spiegel. My study examines the grotesque in American literature, as treated by both nineteenth-century writers--Irving, Poe, Hawthorne, and, significantly, by modernist writers--Anderson, West, and Steinbeck in Northern (or non-Southern) literature; Faulkner, McCullers, and (Flannery) O'Connor in Southern literature. I survey several novels and short stories of these American writers for their grotesqueries in characterization and episodes. The grotesque, as treated by these earlier American writers is often despised, feared, or mistrusted by other characters, but is the opposite in modernist fiction.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Kisawadkorn, Kriengsak

"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

Anne Tyler's Treatment of Managing Women

Description: Among the most important characters in contemporary writer Anne Tyler's nine novels of modern American life are her skillfully-drawn managing women who choose the family circle as the arena in which to use their skills and exert their influence. Strong, competent, independent, capable of caring for themselves, their husbands, their children, and others, too, as well as holding outside jobs, these women are the linchpins of their families. Among their most outstanding qualities are their abilities to endure hardships with heads high and skills unhampered. Within this broad category of managing women, Tyler clearly delineates two types of managers: the regenerative managing woman and the rigid managing woman. A major character in every novel, the regenerative managing woman not only endures, she also adapts. The key to her development and her strength is her capacity for trying again, renewing herself, and her family relationships. The evolution of a vital regenerative woman from a lonely childhood through the beginning of her vibrant womanhood is a key element in every Tyler novel. This development always includes an escape from her original family? an attempt to establish her own family; at least one major hardship that often sends her reeling home; and finally, at least one new start toward establishing her ideal family circle. Tyler's treatment of the regenerative managing woman in the first four novels concentrates on her young womanhood and her early establishment of her family. The later novels begin when the regenerative managing woman is in her thirties or forties and concentrate primarily on the ways the regenerative woman manages her family. Many of Tyler's novels also feature a rigid managing woman. While this character type manages with strength and competence, she is not a positive influence on her family. She endures. But she does not adapt. Too proud to ...
Date: August 1985
Creator: Brock, Dorothy Faye Sala

Antigravity

Description: This dissertation contains two parts: Part I, which discusses the elegy of possessive intent, a subgenre of the contemporary American elegy; and Part II, Antigravity, a collection of poems. English elegies have been closely rooted to a specific grief, making the poems closer to occasional poems. The poet—or at least the poet’s speaker—seeks some kind of public consolation for (often) a private loss. The Americanized form does stray from the traditional elegy yet retains some of its characteristics. Some American elegies memorialize failed romantic relationships rather than the dead. In their memorials, these speakers seek a completion for the lack the broken relationship has created in the speakers’ lives. What they can’t replace, they substitute with something personal. As the contemporary poem becomes further removed from tradition, it’s no surprise that the elegy has evolved as well. Discussions of elegies have never ventured into the type of elegy that concerns itself with the sort of unacknowledged loss found in some contemporary American poems of unrequited love. These poems all have speakers who willfully refuse to acknowledge the loss of their love-objects and strive to maintain control/ownership of their beloveds even in the face of rejection.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Bowen, Ashley Hamilton

Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Hell: the Rhetoric of Universality in Bessie Head

Description: This dissertation approaches the work of South African/Botswanan novelist Bessie Head, especially the novel A Question of Power, as positioned within the critical framework of the postcolonial paradigm, the genius of which accommodates both African and African American literature without recourse to racial essentialism. A central problematic of postcolonial literary criticism is the ideological stance postcolonial authors adopt with respect to the ideology of the metropolis, whether on the one hand the stances they adopt are collusive, or on the other oppositional. A key contested concept is that of universality, which has been widely regarded as a witting or unwitting tool of the metropolis, having the effect of denigrating the colonial subject. It is my thesis that Bessie Head, neither entirely collusive nor oppositional, advocates an Africanist universality that paradoxically eliminates the bias implicit in metropolitan universality.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Edwards, George, Jr.

Anything Like Us

Description: Anything Like Us is a collection of poems with a critical introduction. In this introduction, I explore modern alternatives to Romantic and Neo-Romantic lyric expression. I conclude that a contemporary lyric that desires to be, in some fashion, about itself, must exhibit an acceptance of the mediating influences of time and language, while cultivating an inter-subjective point-of-view that does not insist too much on the authority of a single, coherent voice. The poems in Anything Like Us reflect, in both form and content, many of the conclusions advanced in the introduction. Nearly all the poems concern the desire for, and failure to find, meaningful connections in an uncertain world .
Date: August 2002
Creator: Roth, Matthew

The Apostasy (and Return) of Lenny Gorsuch

Description: This comic romantic novel engages the question of how the Christianity of the southern, fundamentalist world of the Texas bible belt, finding its primary cultural assumptions about human existence challenged by the more confusing elements of a modern sensibility, a sensibility over-laden with strange-attractors, mechanistic psychologies, relativistic physics and ethics, evolutionary premises, newly proclaimed rights and freedoms, a deterioration in cultural political naivete, and the advent of an increasingly incomprehensible set of technologies, can survive. The "central" character is a young, slightly deformed man raised by his ostensibly "Christian" grandparents who, through a rather odd set of legal circumstances and physical events, not only become wealthy, but somewhat powerful in their immediate community. He finds himself involved with a young woman, raised in an equally "Christian" household, but, as is true of any romantic plot, the relationship between the two is destined, by virtue of circumstance and the meddling of other characters, to struggle and mishap. In the end, the text, in its own fashion, asserts that the Christian impulse can survive the modern era by virtue of one of its central tenets: faith, in the Christian world, is very much the same as life itself, a process of waiting and expecting. Its greatest threat, rather than something intrinsic to the modern period, is perhaps that of the dogmatism and misunderstanding of the characters who most loudly proclaim it to others.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Guidici, Guy R.

Asleep in the Arms of God

Description: A work of creative fiction in the form of a short novel, Asleep in the Arms of God is a limited-omniscient and omniscient narrative describing the experiences of a man named Wafer Roberts, born in Jack County, Texas, in 1900. The novel spans the years from 1900 to 1925, and moves from the Keechi Valley of North Texas, to Fort Worth and then France during World War One, and back again to the Keechi Valley. The dissertation opens with a preface, which examines the form of the novel, and regional and other aspects of this particular work, especially as they relate to the postmodern concern with fragmentation and conditional identity. Wafer confronts in the novel aspects of his own questionable history, which echo the larger concern with exploitative practices including racism, patriarchy, overplanting and overgrazing, and pollution, which contribute to and climax in the postmodern fragmentation. The novel attempts to make a critique of the exploitative rage of Western civilization.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Clay, Kevin M.

Awen, Barddas, and the Age of Blake

Description: Studies of William Blake's poetry have historically paid little attention to the Welsh literary context of his time, especially the bardic lore (barddas), in spite of the fact that he considered himselfto be a bard and created an epic cosmos in which the bardic had exalted status. Of particular importance is the Welsh concept of the awen, which can be thought of as "the muse," but which must not be limited to the Greek understanding of the term For the Welsh, the awen had to do with the Christian concept of the Holy Spirit, and beyond that, with the poet's connection with his inspiration, or genius, whether Christian of otherwise. This study explores the idea of inspiration as it evolves from the Greek idea of the Muse, as it was perceived in the Middle Ages by Welsh writers, and as it came to be understood and utilized by writers in the Age of Blake.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Franklin, William Neal

"Beowulf": Myth as a Structural and Thematic Key

Description: Very little of the huge corpus of Beowulf criticism has been directed at discovering the function and meaning of myth in the poem. Scholars have noted many mythological elements, but there has never been a satisfactory explanation of the poet's use of this material. A close analysis of Beowulf reveals that myth does, in fact, inform its structure, plot, characters and even imagery. More significant than the poet's use of myth, however, is the way he interlaces the historical and Christian elements with the mythological story to reflect his understanding of the cyclic nature of human existence. The examination in Chapter II of the religious component in eighth-century Anglo-Saxon culture demonstrates that the traditional Germanic religion or mythology was still very much alive. Thus the Beowulf poet was certainly aware of pre-Christian beliefs. Furthermore, he seems to have perceived basic similarities between the old and new religions, and this understanding is reflected in the poem. Chapter III discusses the way in which the characterization of the monsters is enriched by their mythological connotations. Chapter IV demonstrates that the poet also imbued the hero Beowulf with mythological significance. The discussion in Chapter V of themes and type-scenes reveals the origins of these formulaic elements in Indo-European myth, particularly in the myth of the dying god. Chapter VI argues that both historical and mythological layers of meaning reflect traditional man's view of history as cyclic, a temporal period with a beginning and an end. At the juncture between end and beginning is conflict, which is necessary for regeneration. The interlacing of Christian, historical and mythic elements suggests the impossibility of extricating the individual and collective historical manifestations from the cosmic imperative of this cycle. The Beowulf poet perhaps saw in the ancient myths which permeated his cultural traditions the basis of meaning ...
Date: May 1990
Creator: Aitches, Marian A. (Marian Annette)

The Blurred Boundaries between Film and Fiction in Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, and Other Selected Works

Description: This dissertation explores the porous boundaries between Salman Rushdie's fiction and the various manifestations of the filmic vision, especially in Midnight's Children, The Satanic Verses, and other selected Rushdie texts. My focus includes a chapter on Midnight's Children, in which I analyze the cinematic qualities of the novel's form, content, and structure. In this chapter I formulate a theory of the post-colonial novel which notes the hybridization of Rushdie's fiction, which process reflects a fragmentation and hybridization in Indian culture. I show how Rushdie's book is unique in its use of the novelization of film. I also argue that Rushdie is a narrative trickster. In my second chapter I analyze the controversial The Satanic Verses. My focus is the vast web of allusions to the film and television industries in the novel. I examine the way Rushdie tropes the "spiritual vision" in cinematic terms, thus shedding new light on the controversy involving the religious aspects of the novel which placed Rushdie on the most renowned hit-list of modern times. I also explore the phenomenon of the dream as a kind of interior cinematic experience. My last chapter explores several other instances in Rushdie's works that are influenced by a filmic vision, with specific examples from Haroun and the Sea of Stories, "The Firebird's Nest," and numerous other articles, interviews, and essays involving Rushdie. In my conclusion I discuss some of the emerging similarities between film and the novel, born out of the relatively recent technology of video cassette recorders and players, and I examine the democratizing effects of this relatively new way of seeing.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Quazi, Moumin Manzoor

Blurring the Lines Between Instructor-Led and Online Learning: an Evaluation of an Online Composition Curriculum on the Bleeding Edge

Description: The contemporary classroom currently faces an evolving world of computer based training, online courses, instructor-led learning and several blended approaches in-between. With the increased presence of computers and communication in every facet of students' lives, students have changed to adapt to the continuous presence of technology in their daily lives. These recent rapid developments have changed the relationship between technology and communication. Indeed, communication and technology have become linked to such a degree that it is difficult to differentiate one from the other, thereby altering our rhetorical situation as instructors. Instructors can no longer deny the presence of technology in the contemporary classroom, much less in the contemporary composition classroom. This case study serves as a post-modern analysis of the technology based blended classroom. A gap exists between what online learning is (being) today and what it is (becoming) tomorrow. This dissertation explores the gap by examining two rich data sources: online visitor navigational patterns and instructor interviews. The fundamental ideas that this text explores are the following: - Web server logs and PHP logs can be analyzed to yield relevant information that assists in the design, architecture, and administration of online and blended learning courses. - Technology in the writing classroom does not necessarily solve traditional problems associated with the composition classroom. Technology is a tool, not a solution. - Technology has changed the rhetorical situation of the composition classroom. As a result, instructors must adapt to the changed rhetorical environment. Via this study, readers will hopefully gain a better understanding of the relatively unexplored margins between instruction, composition and technology paradigms. Instructors, trainers, technical writers, pedagogues, industry and academia alike must step forward to research technology-assisted pedagogy so that they can de-privilege the paradigms that position technology itself as a solution, and move forward toward realistic and real-world ...
Date: August 2007
Creator: Deranger, Brant

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

A Boy in a Canoe

Description: The dissertation consists of a collection of personal essays about hunting and fishing. Because the essays are narratives and contain dialogue, characterization, description, themes, etc., they fall under the genre of creative nonfiction. The dissertation has two parts. Part I consists of an essay that discusses the author’s struggle to combine creative nonfiction with outdoor writing and also describes the author’s dilemma of writing about hunting, a topic that is often controversial at the university, while a graduate student. Part II of the dissertation consists of narratives that recount the author’s hunting and fishing experiences that occurred in North Texas and in the mountains of New Mexico. The essays discuss fishing for trout and hunting for deer, wild boars, quail, and duck. Three major themes are developed throughout the dissertation. The first theme describes the close relationship that exists between the author and his father. This closeness is partly due to the time that they have shared during decades of hunting and fishing together. The second theme discusses the ethics of hunting and especially focuses on which methods of hunting are ethical and which methods are not. The third theme explores the complex and sometimes unpleasant interactions that occur between sportsmen when they encounter each other while hunting and fishing. This theme explores the give and take attitude that must exist in order for sportsmen to get along. This attitude is necessary because no two outdoorsmen view the outdoors and hunting and fishing in quite the same way.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Parr, David

(Broken) Promises

Description: The dissertation begins with an introductory chapter that examines the short story cycle as a specific genre, outlines tendencies found in minimalist fiction, and discusses proposed definitions of the short story genre. The introduction examines the problems that short story theorists encounter when they try to.define the short story genre in general. Part of the problem results from the lack of a definition of the short story in the Aristotelian sense of a definition. A looser, less traditional definition of literary genres helps solve some of the problem. Minimalist fiction and the short story cycle are discussed as particular forms of the short story. Sixteen short stories follow the introduction.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Champion, Laurie, 1959-

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

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.