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"Money Only Pays for It" and other stories.

Description: This thesis includes a novel of eight short stories and a critical preface. The preface begins with a section placing the stories in their literary historical context in regards to masculinity theory. It goes on to discuss the craft of fictionalizing autobiographical stories. Finally, the preface talks about the choice of a first person narrator. Each of the stories should stand alone, though they follow the narrator's life for a number of years. Todd Welles is the narrator of all the stories, with the exception of a few. In the stories where Todd does not do all of the narration, he is interrupted by the narration of his "friend," Percy 2 Hard Welles, III.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Edgington, Manford L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

With the Earth in Mind: Ecological Grief in the Contemporary American Novel

Description: "With the Earth in Mind" responds to some of the most cutting-edge research in the field of ecocriticism, which centers on ecological loss and the grief that ensues. Ecocritics argue that ecological objects of loss abound--for instance, species are disappearing and landscapes are becoming increasingly compromised--and yet, such loss is often deemed "ungrievable." While humans regularly grieve human losses, we understand very little about how to genuinely grieve the loss of nonhuman being, natural environments, and ecological processes. My dissertation calls attention to our society's tendency to participate in superficial nature-nostalgia, rather than active and engaged environmental mourning, and ultimately activism. Herein, I investigate how an array of postwar and contemporary American novels represent a complex relationship between environmental degradation and mental illness. Literature, I suggest, is crucial to investigations of this problem because it can reveal the human consequences of ecological loss in a way that is unavailable to political, philosophical, scientific, and even psychological discourse.
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Date: May 2016
Creator: Reis, Ashley Elaine
Partner: UNT Libraries

Misrecognized and Misplaced: Race Performed in African American Literature, 1900-2015

Description: In my dissertation, I explore the ways in which racial identity is made complex through various onlookers' misrecognition of race. This issue is particularly important considering the current state of race relations in the United States, as my project offers a literary perspective and account of the way black authors have discussed racial identity formation from the turn of the century through the start of the twenty-first century. I highlight many variations of misrecognition and racial performance as a response to America's obsession with race.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Taylor Juko, Tana
Partner: UNT Libraries

"That Every Christian May Be Suited": Isaac Watts's Hymns in the Writings of Early Mohegan Writers, Samson Occom and Joseph Johnson

Description: This thesis considers how Samson Occom and Joseph Johnson, Mohegan writers in Early America, used the hymns of English hymnodist, Isaac Watts. Each chapter traces how either Samson Occom or Joseph Johnson's adapted Isaac Watts's hymns for Native communities and how these texts are sites of affective sovereignty.
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Date: May 2017
Creator: Ridley, Sarah Elizabeth
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Inclusion of Texas Literature in Texas Public School Curricula

Description: The Inclusion of Texas Literature in Texas Public School Curricula advocates the organized inclusion of Texas literature in Texas public schools. The first chapter, the introduction, establishes the study's contention that Texas literature, an internationally admired body of literature, is worthy of an organized state inclusion. Another contention in the introduction is that this inclusion would offer its own needed content while reinforcing concepts and skills already mandated for social studies and English and language arts classes.
Date: December 1992
Creator: Hill, Billy Bob
Partner: UNT Libraries

The common-man theme in the plays of Miller and Wilder

Description: This study emphasizes the private and public struggles of the common man as portrayed in two representative plays by Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman and The Price, and two by Thornton Wilder, Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth. These plays demonstrate man's struggle because of failures in responsibility toward self and family and because of his inability to fully appreciate life. Miller concentrates on the pathetic part of Man's nature, caused by a breakdown in human communication. Wilder, however, focuses on the resilient part which allows man to overcome natural disasters and moral transgressions. The timelessness of man's conflict explains the motivations of symbolic character types in these plays and reveals a marked applicability to all average citizens in American society.
Date: May 1977
Creator: Hastings, Robert M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Quest Motif in American Literature, 1945-1970

Description: The last one hundred years of American literature have witnessed the development of three elemental movements: naturalism, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, represented by such authors as Stephen Crane and Theodore Dreiser; nihilism, predominant in the 1920's and 1930's, represented best by Ernest Hemmingway; and the post-World War II literature which will be called literature of the quest, represented by such authors as Saul Bellow, William Styron, Philip Roth, John Updike, and others. The first chapter will show briefly the historical development of these three movements in American literature, their distinctive features, and their relationship to American moral and social values. Chapters Two through Four will analyze in detail the three distinctive aspects of this emerging literary form--the literature of the quest. The last chapter will focus on one novel, Letting Go, by Philip Roth, as an example of this literature.
Date: January 1970
Creator: Jordan, Travis E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

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 Atheism of Mark Twain: The Early Years

Description: Many Twain scholars believe that his skepticism was based on personal tragedies of later years. Others find skepticism in Twain's work as early as The Innocents Abroad. This study determines that Twain's atheism is evident in his earliest writings. Chapter One examines what critics have determined Twain's religious sense to be. These contentions are discussed in light of recent publications and older, often ignored, evidence of Twain' s atheism. Chapter Two is a biographical look at Twain's literary, family, and community influences, and at events in Twain's life to show that his religious antipathy began when he was quite young. Chapter Three examines Twain's early sketches and journalistic squibs to prove that his voice, storytelling techniques, subject matter, and antipathy towards the church and other institutions are clearly manifested in his early writings.
Date: April 1986
Creator: Britton, Wesley A. (Wesley Alan)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Billy and Me and Other Stories

Description: The thesis begins with an introductory chapter that explains the problems that short story theorists encounter when they try to define the short story genre. Part of the problem results from the lack of a definition of the short story in the Aristotelian sense. A looser, less traditional definition of literary genres helps solve some of the problem. Six short stories follow the introduction. "Billy and Me," "Queen of Hearts," "The Whiskey Man," and "Psychedelic Trash Cans" are representative of traditional short stories. "Mourning Coffee" and "Seven X Seven" might very well fit into other genres, but even these stories fit a loose definition of the short story genre.
Date: August 1992
Creator: Champion, Laurie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bibliographical Control of Afro-American Literature, Volume 3: Evaluation of the Conference

Description: These papers offer discussions and conclusions regarding a conference on bibliographic control of Afro-American literature. The text includes a summary of the reasons for the conference, a report from a conference evaluator, and evaluation forms, as well as minutes and letters regarding the proceedings.
Date: 1976
Creator: Totten, Herman L. & Bullock, Penelope L.
Partner: UNT College of Information

Garrison Keillor and American Literary Traditions

Description: Although Garrison Keillor is perhaps best known as the creator and host of Minnesota Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion (1974-1987), the focus of this study is his literary career. Keillor's literary accomplishments include a successful career as a writer for The New Yorker and two best-selling books about the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, entitled Lake Wobegon Days (1985) and Leaving Home (1987). His literary style incorporates elements from several traditions in American literature--the precise, sophisticated "New Yorker style" practiced by writers such as E. B. White and James Thurber; the oral tradition prominent in the works of Mark Twain and the nineteenth-century literary comedians; and the satiric realism associated with the small-town literature of writers such as Sherwood Anderson and Sinclair Lewis.
Date: August 1988
Creator: Elston, Suzanne Poteet
Partner: UNT Libraries

Time Past and Time Present: Hawthorne and Warren in the American Literary Continuum

Description: Although Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) and Robert Penn Warren (1905- ) belong to different periods of American literary history, the thematic parallels in their fiction indicate their close association in the American tradition of the romance and demonstrate ideological correspondences between writers of the New England Renaissance and the Southern Renaissance. Hawthorne and Warren are appropriate subjects for comparison not only because they represent the two greatest periods of American literary production but also because they share, across the span of a century, a common view of the human condition. This study focuses on one idea or cluster of ideas in each chapter with concentration on one major fictional work by each author. Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" (1835) and Warren's "Blackberry Winter" (1946) are classic treatments of initiation. Each author utilizes archetypal patterns to dramatize the possibilities for moral, emotional, and psychological maturity. In Hawthorne's The House of the Seven Gables (1851) and Warren's Band of Angels (1955), the theme of initiation is expanded to incorporate understanding and accepting the past. Alienation becomes the dominant theme in Hawthorne's Blithedale Romance (1852) and Warren's At Heaven's Gate (1943). Through the pain of self-discovery, characters in Hawthorne's The Marble Faun (1860) and Warren's The Cave (1959) demonstrate man's need to penetrate the heart of his existence and the core of his identity. In these novels, Hawthorne and Warren develop the concepts of original sin and the fortunate fall. An analysis of the parallels in Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter (1850) and Warren's All the King's Men (1946) reveals that each author wove the thematic fabric of his masterpiece out of themes dramatized in his other works and enhanced these ideas with the comprehensive theme of redemption through suffering. The parallels in the fiction of Hawthorne and Warren contribute to a view of American literature ...
Date: August 1980
Creator: Harris, F. Janet (Frances Janet)
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bibliographical Control of Afro-American Literature, Volume 1: Papers Presented at a Conference

Description: These papers are a compilation presented at a conference on bibliographic control of Afro-American literature. The papers discuss issues in cataloging and archiving African-American literature including relevant subject headings, sources of texts, and collection development. Index starts on page 293.
Date: 1976
Creator: Totten, Herman L.
Partner: UNT College of Information

Ours is the Kingdom of Heaven: Racial Construction of Early American Christian Identities

Description: This project interrogates how religious performance, either authentic or contrived, aids in the quest for freedom for oppressed peoples; how the rhetoric of the Enlightenment era pervades literatures delivered or written by Native Americans and African Americans; and how religious modes, such as evoking scripture, performing sacrifices, or relying upon providence, assist oppressed populations in their roles as early American authors and speakers. Even though the African American and Native American populations of early America before the eighteenth century were denied access to rights and freedom, they learned to manipulate these imposed constraints--renouncing the expectation that they should be subordinate and silent--to assert their independent bodies, voices, and spiritual identities through the use of literary expression. These performative strategies, such as self-fashioning, commanding language, destabilizing republican rhetoric, or revising narrative forms, become the tools used to present three significant strands of identity: the individual person, the racialized person, and the spiritual person. As each author resists the imposed restrictions of early American ideology and the resulting expectation of inferior behavior, he/she displays abilities within literature (oral and written forms) denied him/her by the political systems of the early republican and early national eras. Specifically, they each represent themselves in three ways: first, as a unique individual with differentiated abilities, exceptionalities, and personality; second, as a person with distinct value, regardless of skin color, cultural difference, or gender; and third, as a sanctified and redeemed Christian, guaranteed agency and inheritance through the family of God. Furthermore, the use of religion and spirituality allows these authors the opportunity to function as active agents who were adapting specific verbal and physical methods of self-fashioning through particular literary strategies. Doing so demonstrates that they were not the unrefined and unfeeling individuals that early American political and social restrictions had made them--that instead they were ...
Date: May 2016
Creator: Robinson, Heather L
Partner: UNT Libraries

Working Whiteness: Performing And Transgressing Cultural Identity Through Work

Description: Early in Richard Wright's Native Son, we see Bigger and his friend Gus “playing white.” Taking on the role of “J. P. Morgan,” the two young black men give orders and act powerful, thus performing their perceived role of whiteness. This scene is more than an ironic comment on the characters' distance from the lifestyle of the J. P. Morgans of the world; their acts of whiteness are a representation of how whiteness is constructed. Such an analysis is similar to my own focus in this dissertation. I argue that whiteness is a culturally constructed identity and that work serves as a performative space for defining and transgressing whiteness. To this end, I examine work and its influence on the performance of middle class and working class whiteness, as well as how those outside the definitions of whiteness attempt to “play white,” as Bigger does. Work enables me to explore the codes of whiteness and how they are performed, understood, and transgressed by providing a locus of cultural performance. Furthermore, by looking at novels written in the early twentieth century, I am able to analyze characters at a historical moment in which work was of great import. With the labor movement at its peak, these novels, particularly those which specifically address socialism, participate in an understanding of work as a performative act more than a means to end. Within the context of this history and using the language of whiteness studies, I look at how gendered whiteness is transgressed and reinforced through the inverted job-roles of the Knapps in Dorothy Canfield's The Home-Maker, how work can cause those who possess the physical attributes of whiteness to transgress this cultural identity, as the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath demonstrate, and how the ascribed identities as non-white for Sara in The ...
Date: May 2002
Creator: Polizzi, Allessandria
Partner: UNT Libraries

Personal Archaeology: Poems

Description: A collection of poems focused primarily on rural America and the South, the creative writing thesis also includes material concerned with the history of Mexico, particularly Mexico at the time of the Spanish Conquest. The introduction combines a personal essay with critical material discussing and defining the idea of the Southern writer.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Sweeden, R. Renee
Partner: UNT Libraries

"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
Partner: UNT Libraries