30 Matching Results

Search Results

Advanced search parameters have been applied.

Underground Men: Alternative Masculinities and the Politics of Performance in African American Literature and Culture

Description: This study explores intersections between performance, race and masculinity within a variety of expressive cultural contexts during and after the African American Civil Rights Movement. I maintain that the work of James Baldwin is best situated to help us navigate this cross section, as his fiction and cultural criticism focus heavily on the stage in all its incarnations as a space for negotiating the possibilities and limits of expressive culture in combating harmful racial narratives imposed upon black men in America. My thesis begins with a close reading of the performers populating his story collection Going to Meet the Man (1965) before broadening my scope in the following chapters to include analyses of the diametric masculinities in the world of professional boxing and the black roots of the American punk movement. Engaging with theorists like Judith Butler, bell hooks and Paul Gilroy, Underground Men attempts to put these seemingly disparate corners of American life into a dynamic conversation that broadens our understanding through a novel application of critical race, gender and performance theories. Baldwin and his orbiting criticism remain the hub of my investigation throughout, and I use his template of black genius performance outlined in works like Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone (1967) and Just Above My Head (1977) to aid our understanding of how performance prescribes and scrambles dominant narratives about black men after the sexual revolution.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Gray, Jezy J.
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

Murky Impressions of Postmodernism: Eugene Gant and Shakespearean Intertext in Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel and Of Time and the River

Description: In this study, I analyze the significance of Shakespearean intertextuality in the major works of Thomas Wolfe featuring protagonist Eugene Gant: Look Homeward, Angel and Of Time and the River. Specifically, I explore Gant's habits and preferences as a reader by examining the narrative arising from the protagonist's perspectives of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, and King Lear. I examine the significance of parallel reading habits of Wolfe the author and Gant the character. I also scrutinize the plurality of Gant's methods of cognition as a reader who interprets texts, communicates his connections with texts, and wars with texts. Further, I assess the cumulative effect of Wolfe's having blurred the boundaries between fiction and reality, between the novel and drama. I assert, then, that Wolfe, by incorporating a Shakespearean intertext, reveals aspects indicative of postmodernism.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Miller, Brenda
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Question of Queerness: Case Studies of Contemporary American Television

Description: This project utilizes a case study approach to explore the various ways in which the portrayals of gay people have changed on American television. Three contemporary programs - Will & Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and The L Word - are examined as examples of how far American television has progressed in terms of treating gay people with respect. Whether those shows move beyond merely presenting gay characters and into a level of actively challenging mainstream views on gay people is also examined. Findings suggest different factors affect the ability of the individual programs to test said views - including the genres to which each belongs, and their presence on network television (Will & Grace), basic cable (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy) or premium cable (The L Word). While all three programs show some tendencies toward queerness, they also take steps toward negotiating with mainstream culture, indicating that complete queerness may be an unattainable goal on American television.
Date: December 2005
Creator: Bentley, Jon Alexander
Partner: UNT Libraries

Shared Spaces: The Human and the Animal in the Works of Zora Neale Hurston, Mark Twain, and Jack London

Description: Living in tune with nature means respecting the natural environment and realizing its power and the ways it manifests in daily life. This essay focuses on the ways in which respect for nature is expressed through animal imagery in Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Mark Twain's "The Stolen White Elephant," Roughing It, and Pudd'nhead Wilson, and Jack London's The Call of the Wild. Each author encouraged readers to seek the benefits of nature in order to become better human beings, forge stronger communities, and develop a more unified nation and world. By learning from the positive example of the animals, we learn how to share our world with them and with each other.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Harper, Pamela Evans
Partner: UNT Libraries

24, Lost, and Six Feet Under: Post-traumatic television in the post-9/11 era.

Description: This study sought to determine if and how television texts produced since September 11, 2001, reflect and address cultural concerns by analyzing patterns in their theme and narrative style. Three American television serials were examined as case studies. Each text addressed a common cluster of contemporary issues such as trauma, death, and loss.
Date: May 2008
Creator: Anderson, Tonya
Partner: UNT Libraries

Short Stories

Description: This collection of seven representative original short stories will include four short stories relating to a fictional location in Dallas, the Starry Skies gay country-and-western dance hall. Three short stories set in fabulous, sometimes absurd settings, will follow. A preface dealing with the nature of fictional place and non-fictional place in fiction will precede the collection of short stories.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Gay, Wayne Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries

Reconsidering Regionalism: The Environmental Ethics of Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin, and Willa Cather

Description: This study identifies environmentalist themes in the fiction and nonfiction of Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin, and Willa Cather and argues that these ideals are interdependent upon the authors’ humanistic objectives. Focusing on these three authors’ overlapping interest in topics such as women’s rights, environmental health, and Native American history, this dissertation calls attention to the presence of a frequently unexplored but distinct, traceable feminist environmental ethic in American women’s regional writing. This set of beliefs involves a critique of the threats posed by a patriarchal society to both the environment and its human inhabitants, particularly the women, and thus can be classified as proto-ecofeminist. Moreover, the authors’ shared emphasis on the benefits of local environmental knowledge and stewardship demonstrates vital characteristics of the bioregionalist perspective, a modern form of environmental activism that promotes sustainability at a local level and mutually beneficial relationships among human and nonhuman inhabitants of a naturally defined region. Thus, the study ultimately defines a particular form of women’s literary activism that emerged in the last decades of the nineteenth century and argues for these authors’ continued theoretical relevance to a twenty-first-century audience increasingly invested in understanding and resolving a global environmental predicament.
Date: August 2011
Creator: Clasen, Kelly
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Essential Academic Program: A Case Study of the General Studies Program at Louisiana State University in Shreveport

Description: The purpose of this study was to provide a historical overview of the development of the General Studies (GS) program at LSU Shreveport from its inception in 1967 until 2007. Sources of data were primary, secondary, and archival documents, student information accessed through the university mainframe, alumni information obtained from a university-sponsored directory, and an interview with the former vice-chancellor of academic affairs. All data were analyzed and placed in a chronological framework. The resulting framework consisted of dividing the 40 years of program existence into four ten-year periods. The study was limited in scope to the GS program at LSU Shreveport and did not seek to compare this program with other programs offered at the university or other GS programs in the state. The study results identified several key social, economic, and political factors that influenced the program’s development. Political factors included the change from a two-year to a four-year institution, the Statewide Review Committee recommendations of 1983, the dissolving of the College of General Studies in 1984, and the accountability movement of the 1990s. Key social factors discovered were the Civil Rights and Women’s Movements of the 1960s,and progressive, life adjustment, and humanistic educational philosophies. Economic factors revealed were the economic recessions of the 1970s and 2007, the technology burst of the 90s,and the current War on Terror. The study also revealed that the GS program has fulfilled the directives of the 1983 Statewide Review Committee Recommendations. Recommendations for future development of the program include adding an online option and implementing an exit survey.
Date: August 2011
Creator: McCray, Lonnie
Partner: UNT Libraries

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
Partner: UNT Libraries

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Naturalist Playwright

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

"Failure to Yield": Essays

Description: Failure to Yield is a collection of creative nonfiction that explores themes of presence and emotional connection and expression. The seven essays, which include three flash essays, explore the themes by reflecting on such topics as marriage, parent-child relationships and addiction. The collection is woven together by the author's relationships with her parents and children and by her experiences growing up in a small town in Iowa.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: December 2017
Creator: Siegfried, Cary Ann
Partner: UNT Libraries

"Among Waitresses": Stories and Essays

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

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.
Date: May 2010
Creator: Gay, Wayne Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries

Literature in the Age of Science: Technology and Scientists in the Mid-Twentieth Century Works of Isaac Asimov, John Barth, Arthur C. Clarke, Thomas Pynchon, and Kurt Vonnegut

Description: This study explores the depictions of technology and scientists in the literature of five writers during the 1960s. Scientists and technology associated with nuclear, computer, and space science are examined, focusing on their respective treatments by the following writers: John Barth, Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke. Despite the close connections between the abovementioned sciences, space science is largely spared from negative critiques during the sixties. Through an analysis of Barth's Giles Goat-boy, Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle, Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49, Asimov's short stories "Key Item," "The Last Question," "The Machine That Won the War," "My Son, the Physicist," and Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey, it is argued that altruistic goals of space science during the 1960s protect it from the satirical treatments that surround the other sciences.
Date: August 2010
Creator: Simes, Peter A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Mr Secrets and Social Media: the Confession of Richard Rodriguez

Description: Richard Rodriguez's works create troubling situations for many scholars. Though numerous critics see him as the penultimate Chicano writer, many others see his writing as only pandering to the elite. However, all politics and controversies aside, he is a writer whose ideas upon language and public confession have been revolutionary. Throughout the thesis, I argue that Rodriguez's ideas upon language and identity are applicable to the social media landscape that we reside in currently, especially the public confession. Also, I use deconstructionism, along with postmodern criticism, to illustrate the changing arc of Rodriguez's confession from his first autobiography to his final one. In his first memoir, Rodriguez remains in the closet upon his sexuality, and the reader only catches glimpses of the 'real' character inside his work. In the second memoir, the reader sees a better glimpse because of his coming out; yet, even in this regard, he does not do so wholly and still leaves his confession unfinished. By the third, he applies themes and problems seen in his first and second works to discuss our browning nature, and how we are all sinners and that we desire to confess our sins. In my assessment of Rodriguez, I argue throughout all my chapters upon a measure of irreconcilability between the private world of the Hispanic immigrant family and the public sphere that they are forced to inhabit because of his citizenship and education. This irreconcilability creates a drastic limiting of identity for the author that Rodriguez is forced to navigate which creates his desire for confession.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Burns, Amanda Jill
Partner: UNT Libraries

True Bromance: Representation of Masculinity and Heteronormative Dominance in the Bromantic Comedy

Description: This project explores the representation of white, American masculinity within the Hollywood bromantic comedy cycle. By analyzing three interrelated components (close homosociality, infantilization, and relationship to patriarchy) of the model of masculinity perpetuated by this cycle of films, this study reveals the hegemonic motives therein. Despite the representation of a masculinity nervously questioning its position within the romantic comedy narrative and the broader patriarchal structure, the results of this representation are, ultimately, regressive and reactionary. Cultural gains made concerning gender, sexuality, and race are doubled back upon in a cycle of films that appeal to regressive modes of misogyny, homophobia, and racism still present in Hollywood filmmaking, and the hegemony of white, patriarchal heteronormativity is rigorously maintained.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Hartwell, David B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Middle Men: Establishing Non-Anglo Masculinity in Southwestern Literature

Description: By examining southwestern masculinity from three separate lenses of cultural experience, Mexican American, Native American and female, this thesis aims to acknowledge the blending of masculinities that is taking place in both the fictitious and factual southwest. Long gone are the days when the cowboys chased down the savage Indians or the Mexican bandits. Southwestern literature now focuses on how these different cultures and traditions can re-construct their masculinities in a way that will be beneficial to all. The southwest is a land of borders and liminal spaces between the United States and Mexico, between brown and white, legal and illegal. All of these borders converge here to create the last American frontier. These converging borders also encompass converging traditions, cultures, and genders. By blending the cowboy, the macho, and the warrior, perhaps these Southwestern writers can construct a liminal masculinity more representative of the southwest itself.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2003
Creator: King, Charla
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Futile Quest for a Sustainable Relationship in Welty's Short Fiction

Description: Eudora Welty is an author concerned with relationships between human beings. Throughout A Curtain of Green and Other Stories, The Wide Net and Other Stories, and The Golden Apples, Welty's characters search for ways in which to establish and sustain viable bonds. Particularly problematic are the relationships between opposite sexes. I argue that Welty uses communication as a tool for sustaining a relationship in her early work. I further argue that when her stories provide mostly negative outcomes, Welty moves on to a illuminate the possibility and subsequent failure of relationships via innocence in the natural world. Finally, Welty explores, through her characters, the attempt at marginalization and the quest for relationships outside the culture of the South.
Date: May 2007
Creator: Lancaster, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries

"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.
Access: This item is restricted to UNT Community Members. Login required if off-campus.
Date: August 2006
Creator: Liu, Li-Hsion
Partner: UNT Libraries