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Across Borders and Barlines: Chicana/o Literature, Jazz Improvisation, and Contrapuntal Solidarity

Description: In this study, I examine Chicana/o writings and Black and Brown musical traditions as they entwine in urban centers and inform local visions of inclusion and models of social change. By analyzing literature and music from South Texas, Southern California, and Northeastern Michigan, I detail how the social particularities of each zone inform Chicana/o cultural productions rooted in the promise of empowerment and the possibility of cross-cultural solidarity. I assert that highlighting localized variations on these themes amplifies contrapuntal solidarities specific to each region, the relationship between different, locally conceived conceptions of Chicana/o identity, and the interplay between Brown and Black aesthetic practices in urban centers near national borders. Through literary critical and ethnomusicological frameworks, I engage the rhetorical patterns that link poetry, jazz improvisation, essays, musical playlists, and corridos to illumine a web of discourses helping to establish the idiosyncratic yet complimentary cultural mores that shape localized social imaginaries in the United States.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Leal, Jonathan J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

“The Angular Degrees of Freedom” and Other Stories

Description: The preface, " Performing Brain Surgery: The Problematic Nature of Endings in Short Fiction," deals with the many and varied difficulties short story writers encounter when attempting to craft endings. Beginning with Raymond Carver and Flannery O’Connor and moving to my own work, I discuss some of the obscure criteria used to designate a successful ending, as well as the more concrete idea of the ending as a unifying element. Five short stories make up the remainder of this thesis: "In-between Girls," "Crocodile Man," "Surprising Things, Sometimes Amusing," "Good Jewelry," and "The Angular Degrees of Freedom."
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Date: December 2014
Creator: Feagin, Aprell McQueeney
Partner: UNT Libraries

Antón Arrufat’s Los Siete Contra Tebas: Political Allegory and Anthropological Concepts As Vehicles to Portray Theatrical and Social Conflict

Description: This thesis (i) presents a critical analysis of the political allegory and dramatic elements employed by Antón Arrufat in Los siete contra Tebas in order to comment upon the conflict in Cuban society during and immediately after the Cuban revolution; and (ii) further analyzes that conflict using an anthropological approach in order to establish partial reintegration as an additional final phase in the rites of passage journey.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Gosch, Elizabeth Anna
Partner: UNT Libraries

El Arquetipo Del Narco Mexicano En La Novela, El Cine, Y La Música

Description: Various groups of Mexican culture have assigned to el narco archetypical characteristics of a heroic figure in the literary, visual, and auditory arts. As a result, today’s narcocultura has expanded its tentacles to a vast array of prominent industries, such as publishing companies, the silver screen, and recording studios. El narco is no longer seen by some sectors as the outlaw that stalks our society but, instead, as a hero who fights against a hegemonic faction to reclaim his sovereignty. This thesis unites interdisciplinary observations of the narco phenomena that Mexican culture has assigned to the iconic figure of el narco. The purpose of this work is to recreate the evolutionary development through a theoretical-literary analysis of this prototype in order to better understand Mexican society’s stance on this phenomenon. Octavio Paz’s theory of the Mexican psyche, Joseph Campbell’s theory of the hero’s journey, and an interdisciplinary focus will be employed to analyze this iconic figure. In this thesis, my aim is to investigate how an ultra-conservative Mexican society evolved into a consortium that upholds the narco’s indistinct behaviors and actions. What roles do first world governments and the Mexican state play to fortify, eradicate, or control the narco phenomenon? Finally, which is the most prudent strategy to coexist in a world alongside the narco?
Date: May 2014
Creator: González, Jesús Ángel
Partner: UNT Libraries

“Before I Die…”: Original Composition with a Critical Essay Exploring the Techniques of Six Crossover Composers

Description: Candy Chang developed a public art installation where people are given the opportunity to write their answers to "Before I Die I want to ________." in a public space. I created one of these walls in Denton, TX and set it to music in a 12 minutes and 42 second piece titled Before I Die..., which combines elements of South Indian carnatic music, gospel, R&B, jazz fusion, and minimalism. The composition was influenced by the music of several crossover artists Becca Stevens, Michael League (Snarky Puppy), Nico Muhly, Poovalur Sriji, Tigran Hamasyan, and James Blake. Crossover music, fusion, and third-stream are all synonymous terms used to describe music where multiple genres or styles are authentically combined. The purpose of this thesis is to examine the balance of musical elements in crossover works as well as how specific works composed by the artists mentioned have influenced the creation of the Before I Die... piece.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Trusko, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries

Capital Ships, Commerce, and Coalition: British Strategy in the Mediterranean Theater, 1793

Description: In 1793, Great Britain embarked on a war against Revolutionary France to reestablish a balance of power in Europe. Traditional assessments among historians consider British war planning at the ministerial level during the First Coalition to be incompetent and haphazard. This work reassesses decision making of the leading strategists in the British Cabinet in the development of a theater in the Mediterranean by examining political, diplomatic, and military influences. William Pitt the Younger and his controlling ministers pursued a conservative strategy in the Mediterranean, reliant on Allies in the region to contain French armies and ideas inside the Alps and the Pyrenees. Dependent on British naval power, the Cabinet sought to weaken the French war effort by targeting trade in the region. Throughout the first half of 1793, the British government remained fixed on this conservative, traditional approach to France. However, with the fall of Toulon in August of 1793, decisions made by Admiral Samuel Hood in command of forces in the Mediterranean radicalized British policy towards the Revolution while undermining the construct of the Coalition. The inconsistencies in strategic thought political decisions created stagnation, wasting the opportunities gained by the Counter-revolutionary movements in southern France. As a result, reinvigorated French forces defeated Allied forces in detail in the fall of 1793.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Baker, William C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Century of Overproduction in American Agriculture

Description: American agriculture in the twentieth century underwent immense transformations. The triumphs in agriculture are emblematic of post-war American progress and expansion but do not accurately depict the evolution of American agriculture throughout an entire century of agricultural depression and economic failure. Some characteristics of this evolution are unprecedented efficiency in terms of output per capita, rapid industrialization and mechanization, the gradual slip of agriculture's portion of GNP, and an exodus of millions of farmers from agriculture leading to fewer and larger farms. The purpose of this thesis is to provide an environmental history and political ecology of overproduction, which has lead to constant surpluses, federal price and subsidy intervention, and environmental concerns about sustainability and food safety. This project explores the political economy of output maximization during these years, roughly from WWI through the present, studying various environmental, economic, and social effects of overproduction and output maximization. The complex eco system of modern agriculture is heavily impacted by the political and economic systems in which it is intrinsically embedded, obfuscating hopes of food and agricultural reforms on many different levels. Overproduction and surplus are central to modern agriculture and to the food that has fueled American bodies for decades. Studying overproduction, or operating at rapidly expanding levels of output maximization, will provide a unique lens through which to look at the profound impact that the previous century of technological advance and farm legislation has had on agriculture in America.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Ruffing, Jason L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

El Cine De Terror Español Como Espejo De La Cultura Española

Description: This study traces the history and culture of Spain as seen through the lens of the nation´s production of horror cinema. Starting from the boom of Spanish horror film in the early 1960s, the thesis compares and contrasts the political and social aspects of Spanish society throughout three distinct eras of the 20th century: 1962 – 1975 (the boom of Spanish horror film through the Franco dictatorship), 1975 – 1999 (the transition to democracy through the end of the 20th century) and 2000 – present (the 21st century). Movies as diverse as Gritos en la noche (1962, Jesús Franco), ¿Quién puede matar a un niño? (1976, Narciso Ibáñez Serrador) and Angustia (1987, Bigas Luna) are framed by culturally-related anectodes as well as correlations to their respective social environments. Special attention has been paid to the production and release of each film, especially in regards to censorship during the Franco dictatorship. The results show that Spanish horror cinema has acted as a true mirror to culture, society and politics in its native country throughout the 20th century and that this trend will likely extend in to the future.
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Date: May 2014
Creator: Donahue, Tyler
Partner: UNT Libraries

Companion to the Gods, Friend to the Empire: the Experiences and Education of the Emperor Julian and How It Influenced His Reign 361-363 AD

Description: This thesis explores the life and reign of Julian the Apostate the man who ruled over the Roman Empire from A.D. 361-363. The study of Julian the Apostate’s reign has historically been eclipsed due to his clash with Christianity. After the murder of his family in 337 by his Christian cousin Constantius, Julian was sent into exile. These emotional experiences would impact his view of the Christian religion for the remainder of his life. Julian did have conflict with the Christians but his main goal in the end was the revival of ancient paganism and the restoration of the Empire back to her glory. The purpose of this study is to trace the education and experiences that Julian had undergone and the effects they it had on his reign. Julian was able to have both a Christian and pagan education that would have a lifelong influence on his reign. Julian’s career was a short but significant one. Julian restored the cities of the empire and made beneficial reforms to the legal, educational, political and religious institutions throughout the Empire. The pagan historians praised him for his public services to the empire while the Christians have focused on his apostasy and “persecution” of their faith. With his untimely death in Persia, Julian’s successor Jovian, reversed most of his previous reforms and as such left Julian as the last pagan emperor of the Roman Empire.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Lilly, Marshall
Partner: UNT Libraries

Conjugal Rights in Flux in Medieval Poetry

Description: This study explores how four medieval poems—the Junius manuscript’s Genesis B and Christ and Satan and Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and The Parliament of Fowls—engage with medieval conjugal rights through their depictions of agentive female protagonists. Although many laws at this time sought to suppress the rights of women, especially those of wives’, both pre- and post-conquest poets illustrate women who act as subjects, exercising legal rights. Medieval canon and common law supported a certain amount of female agency in marriage but was not consistent in its understanding of what that was. By considering the shifts in law from Anglo-Saxon and fourteenth century England in relation to wives’ rights and female consent, my project asserts that the authors of Genesis B and Christ and Satan and the late-medieval poet Chaucer position their heroines to defend legislation that supports female agency in matters of marriage. The Anglo-Saxon authors do so by conceiving of Eve’s role in the Fall and harrowing of hell as similar to the legal role of a forespeca. Through Eve’s mimesis of Satan’s rhetoric, she is able to reveal an alternate way of conceiving of the law as merciful instead of legalistic. Chaucer also engages with a woman’s position in society under the law through his representation of Criseyde’s role in her courtship with Troilus in his epic romance, Troilus and Criseyde. Chaucer disrupts his audiences’ expectations by placing Criseyde as the more agentive party in her courtship with Troilus and shows that women might hope to the most authority in marriage by withholding their consent. In his last dream vision, The Parliament of Fowls, Chaucer engages again with the importance of female consent in marriage but takes his interrogation of conjugal rights a step further by imagining an alternate legal system through Nature, a female authority ...
Date: May 2014
Creator: Ward, Jessica D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cowboys, “Queers,” and Community: the AIDS Crisis in Houston and Dallas, 1981-1996

Description: This thesis examines the response to the AIDS crisis in Houston and Dallas, two cities in Texas with the most established gay communities highest number of AIDS incidences. Devoting particular attention to the struggles of the Texas’ gay men, this work analyzes the roadblocks to equal and compassionate care for AIDS, including access to affordable treatment, medical insurance, and the closure of the nation’s first AIDS hospital. In addition, this thesis describes the ways in which the peculiar nature of AIDS as an illness transformed the public perception of sickness and infection. This work contributes to the growing study of gay and lesbian history by exploring the transformative effects of AIDS on the gay community in Texas, a location often forgotten within the context of the AIDS epidemic.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Bundschuh, Molly Ellen
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Cross-cultural Textual Analysis of Western and South Korean Newspaper Coverage of North Korean Women Defectors and Victims of Human Trafficking

Description: Trafficking women for sexual abuse has been a serious concern worldwide, particularly over the last two decades. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that illicit profits of human trafficking may be as high as $32 billion. However, the international media community has scarcely focused on North Korean women defectors and victims of human trafficking, despite the severity of the issue. More than two million North Koreans, predominantly women, have crossed borders to enter China from starvation. Among those women migrants, about 80% to 90% of them were abducted by traffickers at the border between North Korea and China, and the traffickers sold them to the Chinese sex industry or Chinese men who are unable to find a woman as a wife or a sex slave.This cross-cultural textual analysis examined South Korean and Western (U.S. and British) newspaper coverage of North Korean women as victims of human trafficking to discover similarities and differences in those countries’ news frames. The analysis has shown that politics was a crucial factor in the coverage of the issue. However, by generally failing to report on the fundamental causes of the trafficking, such as inequality between genders, both Western and South Korean newspapers perpetuated hegemonic masculinity and failed to inform and educate people about the grave situations of North Korean women defectors and victims of human trafficking. This study recommends that in reporting the trafficking issues, journalists must be able to observe objectively, not within ideologies or frames provided by politicians.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Chong, Miyoung
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cultural Exchange: the Role of Stanislavsky and the Moscow Art Theatre’s 1923 and 1924 American Tours

Description: The following is a historical analysis on the Moscow Art Theatre’s (MAT) tours to the United States in 1923 and 1924, and the developments and changes that occurred in Russian and American theatre cultures as a result of those visits. Konstantin Stanislavsky, the MAT’s co-founder and director, developed the System as a new tool used to help train actors—it provided techniques employed to develop their craft and get into character. This would drastically change modern acting in Russia, the United States and throughout the world. The MAT’s first (January 2, 1923 – June 7, 1923) and second (November 23, 1923 – May 24, 1924) tours provided a vehicle for the transmission of the System. In addition, the tour itself impacted the culture of the countries involved. Thus far, the implications of the 1923 and 1924 tours have been ignored by the historians, and have mostly been briefly discussed by the theatre professionals. This thesis fills the gap in historical knowledge.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Brooks, Cassandra M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Curious Collection of Visitors: Travels to Early Modern Cabinets of Curiosity and Museums in England, 1660-1800

Description: The idea of curiosity has evolved over time and is a major building-block in the foundation and expansion of museums and their precursors, cabinets of curiosity. These proto-museums began in Italy and spread throughout Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Cabinets of curiosity and museums transformed as visitors traveled to burgeoning collections across the Continent and England. Individuals visited curiosities for a variety of reasons. Some treated outings to collections as social events in which they could see others in their social circles and perhaps rise in social status if seen by the correct people. Others were merely curious and hoped to see rare, astonishing, monstrous, and beautiful objects. Scholars of the era often desired to discover new items and ideas, and discuss scientific and philosophical matters. The British Isles are removed from the main body of Europe, but still play a major role in the history of collecting. A number of private collectors and the eventual foundation of the British Museum contributed seminally to the ever-increasing realm of curiosities and historic, cultural, and scientific artifacts. The collectors and collections of Oxford and London and its surrounding areas, drew a diverse population of visitors to their doors. Individuals, both foreign and local, female and male, visitors and collectors in Early Modern England chose to actively participate in the formation of a collecting culture by gathering, visiting, discussing, writing about, and publishing on collections.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Puyear, Lauren K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Exotic Femininity: Prostitution Reviews and the Sexual Stereotyping of Asian Women

Description: Studies on prostitution have typically focused on the experiences, problems, and histories of prostitutes, rather than examining men who seek to purchase sex. Race has also been overlooked as a central factor in shaping the sex industry and the motivations of men who seek to purchase sex. This study utilizes online reviews of prostitutes to examine the way men who purchase sex discuss Asian prostitutes in comparison to White prostitutes. This paper traces the history of colonialism and ideas of the exotic Orient to modern stereotypes of Asian women. These stereotypes are then used to frame a quantitative and qualitative analysis of online reviews of prostitutes and compare the ways in which Asian prostitutes and white prostitutes are discussed. Further, the reviews are used to examine more broadly what services, traits, and behaviors are considered desirable by men who use prostitutes. The study finds that there are significant quantitative and qualitative differences in how men discuss Asian and White prostitutes within their reviews, and that these differences appear to be shaped by racially fetishizing stereotypes of Asian women. Prostitution also appears to reinforce male dominance and patriarchy in the form of masculine control and the feminine servicing of male sexual and emotional needs.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Dougherty, Devyn T.
Partner: UNT Libraries

From Brecht to Butler: an Analysis of Dirty Grrrls

Description: “From Brecht to Butler: An Analysis of Dirty Grrrls” is a production centered thesis focusing on the image of the mudflap girl. The study examines the graduate production Dirty Grrrls as a form of praxis intersecting the mudflap girl, the theory of gender performativity, and Brechtian methodology. As a common yet unexplored symbol of hypersexual visual culture in U.S. American society, the mudflap girl acts as a relevant subject matter for both the performance and written portion of the study. Through the production, mudflap girl materializes at the meeting point of the terms performance and performativity. The written portion of this project examines this intersection and discusses the productive cultural work accomplished on the page and on the stage via live embodiment of performativity.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Lugo, Joanna
Partner: UNT Libraries

George S. Patton Jr. and the Lost Cause Legacy

Description: Historians have done their duty in commemorating an individual who was, as Sidney Hook’s Hero in History would describe, an “event making-man.” A myriad of works focused on understanding the martial effort behind George S. Patton Jr. from his ancestral lineage rooted in military tradition to his triumph during the Second World War. What is yet to be understood about Patton, however, is the role that the Civil War played in his transformation into one of America’s iconic generals. For Patton, the Lost Cause legacy, one that idealized the image of the Confederate soldier in terms of personal honor, courage, and duty, became the seed for his preoccupation for glory.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Rodriguez, Ismael
Partner: UNT Libraries

Hip-hop’s Tanning of a Postmodern America: a Longitudinal Content Analysis of Paradoxical Juxtapositions of Oppositional Identities Within Us Rap Song Lyrics, 1980-2013

Description: A longitudinal content analysis of top-chart hip-hop songs’ lyrics produced between 1980 and 2013 was conducted to investigate the degree and progression of the paradoxical juxtaposition, or postmodern hybridity, of oppositional modernist identities in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, sexuality, and economic lifestyle, in addition to the longitudinal diversification of artist’s race and gender demographics. Demographically, the percentage of non-African-American artists increased as the percentage of African-American artists decreased. Additionally, the percentage of songs featuring either all male or all female artists decreased, while the percentage of collaboration between male and female artists increased over time. Although hybrid oppositional identities related to race/ethnicity and gender did not increase over time, those of sexual orientation, sexuality, and economic lifestyle increased over time. In addition, materialist identities were related to the hybridity of sexual orientation and sexuality, but not to that of gender and race/ethnicity. Overall, the research found increasing postmodern hybridity within the sexualization of hip-hop songs along with intensified materialism.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Gadley, Shawn A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A History of the Phenomenon of the Maras of El Salvador, 1971- 1992

Description: This thesis grounds its examination of the maras of El Salvador in the historical past (1971-1992) rather than the present, which constitutes a departure from current scholarship on the subject. This thesis revises our current understanding of the emergence and development of maras in El Salvador through the recovery, insertion and examination of key local events, conditions, and historical actors of the 1970s and 1980s. From signifying friendship and camaraderie prior to the late 1980s, the maras increasingly became the target of public concern and Salvadoran security forces over the course of the 1980. By the late 1980s the maras increasingly became associated with criminal activity in Salvadoran society and popular culture. To document these changed conditions, this thesis relies extensively on previously untapped and ignored primary sources: newspapers and oral history interviews.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Castillo, Vogel Vladimir
Partner: UNT Libraries

“The Inevitable: Withdrawn”

Description: The Inevitable: Withdrawn is a critical preface and collection of non-fiction writing: personal essay, lyric essay, fragments, and experimental forms. The work’s cohesive subject matter is the author’s European vacation directly following her divorce. Within the pieces, the author attempts to reconcile who she is when starting over and she begins to ask questions regarding the human condition: How do I learn to exhibit intimacy again, not just with romantic partners, but with also in a familial way with my father, and how does absence in these relationships affect my journey and how I write about it? How do I view, and remake myself, when finding my identity that was tied to another individual compromised? How does a body, both physical and belonging to me, and physical as text, take certain shapes to reflect my understanding? How do I define truth, and how do I interpret truth and authenticity in both experience and writing? How do I define and know the difference between belief and truth? And finally, how does narrative and language protect, or expose me? The Inevitable: Withdrawn considers debates regarding the definition of narrative in order to address a spectrum of non-fiction writing. The collection takes into consideration non-fiction conventions, form as functionality, philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology, prose and poetic theory, and the works of other notable writers.
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Date: May 2014
Creator: Christy, Gwendolyn Anne
Partner: UNT Libraries

En La Frontera Entre La Vida Y La Muerte: a Study of Women Reporters on the Us–mexico Border

Description: In 2008 Ciudad Juarez erupted in a violent drug war. The Sinaloa Cartel and Juarez Cartel were in a battle for the lucrative drug route used to smuggle drugs into the United States, while President Felipe Calderon was waging his own war against all the drug cartels. During the height of the violence women journalists emerged on the front lines to tell the stories of Juarez. They risked their lives and dared to tell a story that others refused to. This mixed-method study examines frames used most often in the coverage of the drug war in Ciudad Juarez from 2008-2010. It examines The New York Times, the El Paso Times, and El Norte and also examines articles by the sex of the reporter. It also used in-depth interviews of both Mexican and American woman journalists who covered the drug war in Juarez to examine which themes developed about the reporter’s experiences in covering the drug war.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Guzman, Samantha
Partner: UNT Libraries

“Madness” in the Media: How Can Print Journalists Better Report on Mental Illnesses?

Description: Stereo types and stigmas of individuals with mental illnesses have proved to be a major roadblock preventing these individuals from seeking help. The news media, despite having a responsibility to accurately inform the public, has played a significant role in portraying individuals with mental illness as violent, unpredictable, dangerous, and unfit to live with the rest of “normal” society. This happens through the words journalists choose to use and the information they choose in included, and excluded, when reporting on mental health issues. This study attempts to establish a guideline that journalists can follow that will hopefully reduce the stigma of mental illness in the media, and eventually in society. This study used a 2 x 2 ANCOVA to test two independent variables (amount of labeling terms and amount of corrective information). The variables were manipulated by modifying a news article four times to produce articles with varying levels of labeling terms and corrective information. A control article was also be used. The articles were randomized and passed out to 220 undergraduate college students at the University of North Texas who completed a questionnaire, read their assigned article, and then completed a second questionnaire to determine the impact the article had on their attitudes about individuals with mental illnesses.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Cousineau, Anna Desiree
Partner: UNT Libraries

Networks of Social Debt in Early Modern Literature and Culture

Description: This thesis argues that social debt profoundly transformed the environment in which literature was produced and experienced in the early modern period. In each chapter, I examine the various ways in which social debt affected Renaissance writers and the literature they produced. While considering the cultural changes regarding patronage, love, friendship, and debt, I will analyze the poetry and drama of Ben Jonson, Lady Mary Wroth, William Shakespeare, and Thomas Middleton. Each of these writers experiences social debt in a unique and revealing way. Ben Jonson's participation in networks of social debt via poetry allowed him to secure both a livelihood and a place in the Jacobean court through exchanges of poetry and patronage. The issue of social debt pervades both Wroth's life and her writing. Love and debt are intertwined in the actions of her father, the death of her husband, and the themes of her sonnets and pastoral tragicomedy. In Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice (c. 1596), Antonio and Bassanio’s friendship is tested by a burdensome interpersonal debt, which can only be alleviated by an outsider. This indicated the transition from honor-based credit system to an impersonal system of commercial exchange. Middleton’s A Trick to Catch the Old One (1608) examines how those heavily in debt dealt with both the social and legal consequences of defaulting on loans.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Criswell, Christopher C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Paralysis As “Spiritual Liberation” in Joyce’s Dubliners

Description: In James Joyce criticism, and by implication Irish and modernist studies, the word paralysis has a very insular meaning. The word famously appears in the opening page of Dubliners, in “The Sisters,” which predated the collection’s 1914 publication by ten years, and in a letter to his publisher Grant Richards. The commonplace conception of the word is that it is a metaphor that emanates from the literal fact of the Reverend James Flynn’s physical condition the narrator recalls at the beginning of “The Sisters.” As a metaphor, paralysis has signified two immaterial, or spiritual, states: one individual or psychological and the other collective or social. The assumption is that as a collective and individual signifier, paralysis is the thing from which Ireland needs to be freed. Rather than relying on this received tradition of interpretation and assumptions about the term, I consider that paralysis is a two-sided term. I argue that paralysis is a problem and a solution and that sometimes what appears to be an escape from paralysis merely reinforces its negative manifestation. Paralysis cannot be avoided. Rather, it is something that should be engaged and used to redefine individual and social states.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Heister, Iven Lucas
Partner: UNT Libraries