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Stage and Scream: The Influence of Traditional Japanese Theater, Culture, and Aesthetics on Japan's Cinema of the Fantastic

Description: Although widely viewed in the West, Japanese films are often misunderstood, as they are built on cultural, theatrical, and aesthetic traditions entirely foreign to Western audiences. Particularly in regards to Japan's "fantastic" cinema - including giant monster pictures, ghost stories, and "J-Horror" films - what is often perceived as "cheap" or "cheesy" is merely an expression of these unique cultural roots. By observing and exploring such cultural artifacts as kabuki, noh, and bunraku - the traditional theatrical forms of Japan - long-standing literary traditions, deeply embedded philosophical beliefs, and even more recent developments such as the controversial dance form butoh, these films, including Gojira (1954), Daimajin (1966), Kwaidan (1964), Onibaba (1964), Testuo the Iron Man (1989), and Ju-On (2002), can be placed in their proper perspective, leading to a reevaluation of their worth not merely as commercial products, but as uniquely Japanese expressions of that society's unique place in world culture.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Petty, John E.

Documentary Film: Accidental Shakespeare

Description: According to the American Heritage College Dictionary, the word “community” derives from the Latin roots: communitas and communis meaning “fellowship” and “common,” respectively. The word “amateur” derives from the Latin roots: amator meaning “lover.” A community of amateurs, who love to put on plays, exists within the Denton Community Theatre. Their first attempt at classical theatre was the January 2006 production of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Brad Speck. The film follows two actors (through observational shooting) - Kevin Wickersham, a waiter who is trying theatre for the first time, and Jeffrey Johnson, a theatre college student trying Shakespeare for the first time - as they relate to a process and community that is new to them.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Petty, Laurel Ann

On Objects and Affections: Contemporary Representations of the Gay Man/Straight Woman Dyad in Popular Film and Television

Description: This project explores the representational strategies used to depict a gay male/straight female dyad across a variety of popular media. The study problematizes and critically evaluates how the narrativization of the dyad both challenges and reinforces stereotypes of gay men and at the same time circulates a troubling image of femininity in the figure of the straight woman. This line of argument is extended to the context of "Lifestyle Television" to demonstrate how the dyad implicitly structures two particular programs. It is suggested that the prevalence of the dyad is in part indicative of an assimilation of a particular gay identity into mainstream culture. The ideological implications of the dyad are discussed throughout this thesis.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Pillion, Owen L.

Twinmates

Description: Twinmates is an inside look at the unique and unusual appeal of border politics in Laredo, Texas through the point of view of identical twin brothers-- A. Jaime Mendoza and B. Javier Mendoza. The documentary chronicles the Mendoza twins for a period of six years as they switch political parties, in order to get elected (Republicans turn Democrats), and use that political exposure to expand their janitorial company to the metropolitan cities of Dallas and Austin. In addition to the Mendoza twins' business and politics, the documentary also captures entertaining interactions with family and friends.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Salinas, Patricio José

Central American Media: A Comparative Study of Media Industries in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Costa Rica.

Description: The five countries that lie on the isthmus connecting North and South America have endured a past of colonialism, civil war, and natural disaster. As these countries evolve in the 21st century, growing economies and political peace provide a promising outlook for the citizens of these nations. The media industries in these nations have varying levels of development which are explored in this thesis. Using Michael Porter's 1990 framework and a case study methodology, this thesis explores the differences and similarities of media industries in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and what may be done to ensure future success in an increasingly global world.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Salzman, Catherine C.

Memories of Motherland: Gender, Diaspora and National Identity in 1990s Indian Popular Culture

Description: This thesis examines the role of globalization, an open economy and diasporic experiences on the 1990s popular Indian culture, focusing on discourses of gender, national identity and family. Recent Indian beauty queens and international beauty contests are discussed in the context of gendered nationhood in 1990s India. Several popular films of the 1990s are discussed as narratives expressing longing for an extended family and a homogeneous national identity under the leadership of a traditional father figure. In contrast, independent films interrogate the primacy of ethnic and national identity and raise interesting questions about exilic experience. All of these forms of national and popular culture reflect the conflicting and ever-changing anxieties surrounding national identity and the role of women in India.
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Date: May 2002
Creator: Sapre, Manasi

"They Don't Make'em Like They Used To": Cultural Hegemony and the Representation of White Masculinity in Recent U.S. Cinema

Description: The purpose of this work is to illuminate how white male hegemony over women and minorities is inscribed through the process of film representation. A critical interrogation of six film texts produced over the last decade yields pertinent examples of how the process of hegemonic negotiation works to maintain power for the ever changing modes of postindustrial masculinity. Through the process of crisis and recuperation the central male characters in these films forge new, more acceptable attributes of masculinity that allow them to retain their centrality in the narrative.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Schneider, Matthew

Beach Drive: Public Rights and Private Property: A Documentary Film

Description: The Texas Open Beaches Act states that the public beach extends from the water up to the line of vegetation. Once a privately-owned property is submerged, it transfers into state ownership. Because of severe erosion and the shifting nature of vegetation, the Village of Surfside has lost several rows of houses and streets and, currently, over thirty houses are located on the public beach obstructing public access in violation of the Texas Open Beaches Act. The extreme erosion in this small village on the Texas Gulf Coast puts homeowners, property owners, legislators, and beachgoers in difficult positions and many are at odds with one another. The documentary film is structured around rental property owner Russell Clinton, environmentalists Ellis Pickett and Jeff Hooton, and former State Senator A.R. "Babe" Schwartz.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Schoenbaechler, Jessica

A New Circle

Description: This reflexive documentary film explores the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Tribe of Texas and examines questions of cultural identity. The twenty-one minute film uses footage of cultural events, reservation landscape, photographs, and interviews to bring the viewer into the lives of the Alabama-Coushatta people. The written portion of this thesis details the entire processes of making the film, from the proposal stage to the post-production stage. This includes an examination of the film's evolution from using a proposed ethnographic approach to one less scientific and more personal.
Date: December 2001
Creator: Shutt, Jason

The future of local television news: Is there a possible strategic planning approach?

Description: This study compared the characteristic of strategic planning as used in the corporate world with the planning process used in a sample of television news departments. The purpose was to determine if commonalities exist; in what circumstances, and whether techniques and approaches used for many years by businesses could advance the process of planning in the fast-paced environment of local television news. In-depth interviews were conducted with a sample of highly experienced local news managers. The results indicated some similarities in planning approaches but suggested significant differences in how the two industries approach key elements of traditional strategic planning. The primary conclusion drawn from the research suggests the local television news industry has informally adapted strategic planning processes to their needs with heavy emphasis on tactical execution.
Date: August 2005
Creator: Slocum, Phyllis R.

Girl Power: Feminism, Girlculture and the Popular Media

Description: This project is an interrogation of three examples from recent popular culture of girlculture, specifically texts that target young female consumers: the Spice Girls, Scream and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. These examples are fundamentally different than texts from earlier female targeted generic models because they not only reflect the influence of the feminist movement, they work on feminism's behalf. The project's methodology grows out of feminist film theories and cultural studies theories. One chapter is dedicated to each text, and each reading works to reappropriate girlculture texts for a counter-hegemonic agenda by highlighting the moments when each text manages to subvert its mass mediated conservative biases.
Date: August 1999
Creator: Smith, Ashley Lorrain

Teacher Perceptions of the Flipped Classroom: Using Video Lectures Online to Replace Traditional In-class Lectures

Description: Advancements in media technologies have resulted in increased student usage causing teachers to struggle to be able to engage and hold student’s interest in a typical classroom. As students’ needs change, the field of education changes. One strategy that is gaining in popularity among teachers is the implementation of the “flipped classroom” also known as the “inverted classroom” or “reverse instruction” - a method incorporates technology to “flip” or “reverse” what is typically done in class with what is typically done as homework. Through teacher interviews of eight core teachers, this study attempts to discover teacher perceptions of the use of this method. Results of the study reveal that perceptions of the method are more positive among teachers who typically use lecture as a primary mode of information dissemination.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Snowden, Kelly E.

Jiggs

Description: Jiggs is a documentary that explores how Jiggs Gaffney serves despite his mental disability. By observing Jiggs’ involvement at Pine Cove Christian Camps, and revealing his past, the documentary shows how anyone can be used for a greater good, and reveals how God can be served and glorified by anyone, no matter the individual circumstances.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Sosa, Mario

A Textual Analysis of the Closer and Saving Grace: Feminist and Genre Theory in 21St Century Television

Description: Television is a universally popular medium that offers a myriad of choices to viewers around the world. American programs both reflect and influence the culture of the times. Two dramatic series, The Closer and Saving Grace, were presented on the same cable network and shared genre and design. Both featured female police detectives and demonstrated an acute awareness of postmodern feminism. The Closer was very successful, yet Saving Grace, was cancelled midway through the third season. A close study of plot lines and character development in the shows will elucidate their fundamental differences that serve to explain their widely disparate reception by the viewing public.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Stone, Lelia M.

"According to Their Wills and Pleasures": The Sexual Stereotyping of Mormon Men in American Film and Television

Description: This thesis examines the representation of Mormon men in American film and television, with particular regard for sexual identity and the cultural association of Mormonism with sexuality. The history of Mormonism's unique marital practices and doctrinal approaches to gender and sexuality have developed three common stereotypes for Mormon male characters: the purposeful heterosexual, the monstrous polygamist, and the self-destructive homosexual. Depending upon the sexual stereotype in the narrative, the Mormon Church can function as a proponent for nineteenth-century views of sexuality, a symbol for society's repressed sexuality, or a metaphor for the oppressive effects of performing gender and sexuality according to ideological constraints. These ideas are presented in Mormon films such as Saturday's Warrior (1989) as well as mainstream films such as A Mormon Maid (1917) and Advise and Consent (1962).
Date: May 2009
Creator: Sutton, Travis

Rickshaw Man

Description: This documentary film tells the story of Mohammad in India, and Mike in the United States, who are separated by social, economic, cultural, linguistic and religious differences, and yet there is an inanimate object that connects them-the rickshaw. The film examines how rickshaw men are viewed and treated by the society they live in and also illuminates the threads of commonality between these two men to show that they are not so different from each other after all.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Thomas, Denny G.

Standing Up to Experts: The Politics of Public Education

Description: In a small room in Austin, Texas, a group of 15 people are single-handedly deciding what is taught to the next generation of American children. The highly politicized 15 member Texas Board of Education is currently going through the once-in-a-decade process of rewriting the teaching and textbook standards for its nearly 5 million schoolchildren. Texas is also unbelievably influential on the standards that textbook publishers use as a basis for their textbooks nationwide. Over the last 10 years, the textbooks adopted by this board found their way in upwards of 65% of American classrooms. My goal is to shed light on this important issue and the key players in this process - I explain their goals, explore the scope of their influence, and delve into the personal motivations behind their actions, which will affect public education throughout the country.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Thurman, Scott

Piracy on the Ground: How Informal Media Distribution and Access Influences Cultures in Contemporary Hanoi, Viet Nam

Description: This thesis explores how pirate cultures and “informal” distribution circuits operate on the ground level and integrate global media texts (mainly Hollywood films) into a small section of the local everyday society of Hanoi, Viet Nam. Situating the pirate stores and its components as active and central, this thesis will examine the physical flow of media through these store sites. In addition, by exploring the interactions between media texts, store owners and workers, customers, and the store’s design itself, this thesis will reveal how media piracy (as a form of distribution and “normal” access) influences and negotiates modernity, cultures, identities, and meanings in Hanoi and Viet Nam.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Tran, Anthony

'Gimme That Ole Time Religion': Traditionalism, Progressivism and Popular Media

Description: This thesis examines the role of Christianity in contemporary American culture using 1990s popular media as cultural artifacts. Building on theories of ideological analysis and hegemony, this project uncovers a balance between progressive and traditionalist ideologies in American culture with progressive ideologies most often superficially acknowledged and incorporated into dominant traditionalist Christian ideologies through hegemonic negotiation. An analysis of the popular Hollywood films The Last Temptation of Christ, Leap of Faith, Michael, City of Angels, Dogma and Keeping the Faith, illustrates this process by addressing Christian dominance in multicultural America, a backlash against feminism constructed through patriarchal and “family values” ideologies, and an integration of popular culture and traditionalist Christianity.
Date: August 2002
Creator: Turner-Reed, Laura

Religious Television and New Technologies: Managing Change in the Broadcast Environment

Description: This study examines the process of technological change in the religious television environment. The study also focuses on managerial response to said change. Through the use of a survey instrument, a quantitative examination is given, illustrating a managerial embrace of change principles, a positive attitude toward the idea of change, and a system of change behavior that matches several previously theorized change models. Also examined is how different station funding types correspond with types and rates of technological change, with the results reflecting that more funding sources for a station generally indicate a greater likelihood of technological change.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Upchurch, Jeremy Eugene

Programming for the Latino Youth: a Content Analysis of Prime Time Television Programs By Three Spanish-language Broadcast Networks

Description: This study reviews U.S. Spanish-language broadcast networks' prime time programming content targeted to the Latino youth audience. It explores the relationship between the Latino youth and prime time programming by Spanish-language broadcast networks and how they seek to attract this market as is reflected in the characteristics and quantity of their content and preferred formats by using the strategic management theory. This study identifies the amount and type of prime time programming that was catered to the Latino youth audience between 2003 and 2012 by the three major Spanish-language networks: Univision, Telemundo, and Telefutura. An observed pattern reveals that prime time programming targeting Latino teenagers is relatively smaller and older in comparison to programming delivered through the general programming.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Vazquez, Gabriel

The reshaping of the traditional television advertising model: An analysis of media agency perceptions and decision-making processes regarding the effects of digital video recorders on television commercial effectiveness.

Description: This research analyzes media agency executives' perceptions and strategic decision-making processes when accessing the impact of digital video recorders (DVRs) on the traditional television commercial spot. Strategic decision-making models, as well as major industry research, forms the theoretical framework used to guide the study. The research takes a quantitative approach using a survey in order to obtain the perceptions and decision-making processes of the media agency executives'. The findings are presented while a discussion of the findings is detailed. The thesis concludes with a summary of the overall thesis research as applied to the field of study.
Date: August 2007
Creator: Way, Heather C.

Herb and Life: A Chinese Medical Family

Description: This written thesis examines the process of producing Herb and Life: a Chinese Medical Family, a thirty-minute documentary video that explores the producer's family members' relationship with Traditional Chinese Medicine. This documentary uses interviews, narration, music, and observational sequences to display documentary subjects' career choices and their experiences with Traditional Chinese Medicine. This written thesis reveals the development of this documentary, from the pre-production to production and post-production stages. It also incorporates theoretical analysis and self-evaluation of this documentary video.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Yang, Hongyi

Diffusion Of Location Based Services And Targeting Us Hispanics: A Case Study

Description: This study reviews factors that identify U.S. Hispanics as being an ideal target market for adopting Location Based Services (LBS). By using the diffusion of innovation theory, an observed pattern of Hispanics’ adoption of technology, advertisements, smartphones and various smartphone value-added services reveals U.S. Hispanics to be more likely to adopt LBS than non-Hispanics. The study also identifies the top U.S. cell phone wireless providers and analyzes their marketing position towards U.S. Hispanics. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon are noted as marketing their services to U.S. Hispanics via in-culture messages and campaigns. The four wireless providers also utilize LBS as a profitable tool and market LBS to their customers, regardless of ethnicity.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Yepez, Jennifer