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Aesthetics in the Popular Culture

Description: The purpose of this thesis is to consider three opposing statements regarding aesthetics in our popular culture. The first statement is that the youth of this age are demolishing the old standards of aesthetic taste and are creating a nonaesthetic; the second statement is that the youth are enlarging the vision and scope of the accepted standard of aesthetic and changing its direction; the thrid statement is that the creations of the youth in our popular culture of today are neither new nor nonaesthetic, but merely a continuation of aesthetics as they are accepted. One statement will be chosen as the most valid of the three.
Date: May 1968
Creator: Holland, Barbara
Partner: UNT Libraries

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.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Las Cantigas de Santa Maria: Thirteenth-Century Popular Culture and Acts of Subversion

Description: Across medieval Europe, the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain traced a lattice web of popular culture. From the lowest peasant to the greatest king and churchmen, the devout walked pathways that created an economy and contributed to a social and political climate of change. Central to this impulse of piety and wanderlust was the veneration of the Virgin Mary. She was, however, not the iconic Mother of the New Testament whose character, actions, and very name are nearly absent from that first-century compilation of texts. As characterized in the words of popular songs and tales, the mariales, she was a robust saint who performed acts of healing that exceeded those miracles of Jesus described in the Bible. Unafraid and authoritative, she confronted demons and provided judgement that reached beyond the understanding and mercy of medieval codes of law. Holding out the promise of protection from physical and spiritual harm, she attracted denizens of admirers who included poets, minstrels, and troubadours like Nigel of Canterbury, John of Garland, Gonzalo de Berceo, and Gautier de Coinci. They popularized her cult across Europe; pilgrims sang their songs and celebrated the new attributes of Mary. This dissertation uses the greatest collection of these songs, Las Cantigas de Santa Maria compiled in the thirteenth century under the direction of Alfonso X, King of Castile and Leon, to construct the history of a lay piety movement deeply rooted in medieval popular culture. Making the transition from institutionalized, doctrinal saint to popular heroine, Mary becomes a subversive conduit through which culture moved from Latin poetry to vernacular verse and from the monasteries of scholasticism to the popular pathway of Wycliffite reform.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Coats, Jerry Brian
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Castle/Nikki Heat Phenomenon: A Detailed Examination of Female Representation in Entertainment Media

Description: As entertainment reflects a culture's ideology, it is important for researchers to study its messages and subsequently its potential meanings. Entertainment has the power to inform and persuade, creating models for behavior with which the public interacts. The entertainment texts for the purpose of this study are the Castle television series and the Nikki Heat novels. Together, they create a unique multi-layer fictional world. By using postmodern, feminist, communication, and entertainment theories, the results of this study provide a tightly focused lens which views a narrow aspect of entertainment media. Each text was thoroughly examined using textual analysis, Feminist Poststructuralist Discourse Analysis, and conversation analysis. Contrary to expectations, the results indicated that the Castle and Nikki Heat texts support hegemonic ideology, particularly through the use of exaggerated stereotypes, strict gender roles, imagery, and narrative choices that help perpetuate rape culture. The discussion outlines how these results can be interpreted through the dominant messages presented in the texts. This research is intended to serve as a foundation for future research regarding entertainment media.
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Date: December 2016
Creator: Skinner, Katharine Virginia
Partner: UNT Libraries