Recent Submissions

  • Adapting the Language of Postcolonial Subjectivity: Mimicry and the Subversive Art of Kent Monkman

    Valens, Keja; Young, Stephenie (2014-05-01)
    This thesis explores the complex means by which Native American colonial subjectivity is constituted by a hegemonic epistemology that imbricates race, gender, and sexuality through a language of social hierarchy. By way of racial and gender marginalization, the Native American subject has become a means of authenticating the dominant Euroamerican class. 19th century artists of the American frontier, such as George Catlin and Paul Kane, contributed to an aesthetic tradition that perpetuated the silencing of a Native North American voice and upheld the social hierarchy instituted during colonialism. Through a close reading of the queer and racial images in Canadian/Cree artist Kent Monkman's paintings Artist and Model and Si je t'aime, prends garde a toi,which confront Catlin and Kane's aesthetic legacy, this thesis explores the question of resisting the social oppressions of colonial subjectivity through consenting to that subjectivity.
  • Terrorizing Islam: Building American Identity in the 9/11 Novel

    Riss, Arthur; Young, Stephenie (2014-05-01)
    In the years after 9/11, a number of novels appeared that purported to examine the perspectives of both Islamic fundamentalist terrorists and American Muslims . While ostensibly giving their American audiences an insight into an Islamic perspective, what these novels are actually unconsciously doing is using their Muslim characters to create a new sense of American identity in the post-9/11world where older conceptions of American identity have been disrupted by the violent intrusion of an alien presence . Drawing upon the work of Edward Said and Toni Morrison, this thesis will examine the ways John Updike's Terrorist, Amy Waldman's, The Submission, and Don DeliIIo's Falling Man, construct a Muslim Other in order to create an American identity. The presence of the Muslims in these novels serves as an occasion for the Americans to explore their new identities after 9/11,where American exceptionalism and such American qualities once constructed as intrinsic and essential as freedom, inviolability, and tolerance are called into question
  • Picture This: Representation, Photographs, and the Contemporary American Memoir

    Young, Stephenie; Mulman, Lisa (2014-05-01)
    This thesis explores significant issues of representation pertinent to the contemporary American memoir such as "truthfulness," memory, and trauma. It also examines the ways in which individual memoirists encounter and address these issues, especially in regards to the memoirists' incorporation of photographs into their narratives . The central works discussed in this thesis include the following memoirs: Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir (2012) written by Jenny Lawson, Half in Shade: Family, Photography, and Fate (2012) written by Judith Kitchen, and Dorothy Allison's 1996 memoir Two or Three Things I Know For Sure. Chapter one of this thesis focuses on issues of representing one's story "truthfully" and Lawson's use of photographs as "proof' of her hard-to-believe stories in Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir ) . The next chapter centers on the representation of memory and postmemory, as well as Kitchen's use of photographs in her attempt to revive the past in Half in Shade: Family, Photography, and Fate. The final chapter is concerned with troubles of representing trauma and Allison's use of photographs in Two or Three things I Know For Sure to potentially help her say what she struggles to say with words alone. Throughout this thesis, the ways in which the photographs function as well as to what extent they aid and/or complicate representation is explored in addition to the question of why they are being included in memoir more and more frequently .
  • The Exodus From Andover: Migration Case Studies, 1700-1750

    Baker, Emerson; Chapman-Adisho, Annette; Austin, Brad (2014-12-01)
    This thesis begins by examining the work of Philip Greven in his book Four Generations, which is about the early settlement of Andover, Massachusetts. In Four Generations, Greven argues that a land shortage forced the third and fourth generations to migrate away from the town and seek their fortunes in the wilderness. The focus of this thesis develops into a consideration of the settlement patterns and the prosperity of the third generation who chose to leave Andover, Massachusetts, those who struck out into the wilderness of Windham County, Connecticut. What happened to this pioneering migratory generation of the early 18th-century? Do the economic and social patterns found in Connecticut replicate patterns found in the original settlement patterns of early Massachusetts towns? And even more importantly, this thesis asks who were these migrants? These questions are answered by examining vital records in Massachusetts and Connecticut. In addition, deed and probate records in both states have been reviewed as well. From the information and evidence gleaned from these records, biographical sketches of five migrants and their families were created to help us understand the relative success or failure of their migratory experience.
  • Testing Park Cool Island GIS Analysis Methods For Use In Semi-Urban Conservation Planning

    Luna, Marcos (2020-01-01)
    The human and environmental impacts of urban heat islands (UHI) have become an increasingly relevant issue to city planners. This topic has spurred research into the relationships between land cover, ambient temperature, and the role of greenspace in emitting cooler air to its surrounding area, now known as the ‘park cool island’ effect (PCI). While ample research has been given to this phenomenon in dense urban areas, much less has been dedicated to semi-urban communities who may wish to inform their development practices as they expand their footprints. This research used satellite-derived Landsat Level-2 Provisional Surface Temperature data, MassGIS 2016 Land Cover / Land Use data, and MassGIS Standardized Assessors’ Parcels data to analyze parcels in Essex County, Massachusetts, for PCI intensity and the influence of land cover and parcel characteristics on PCI. LST data from July, 2016, were used to evaluate the mean temperature difference between parcels and their surrounding area to derive PCI. Replicating methods demonstrated by Cao et al. [Landscape and Urban Planning, 96(4):224-231 (2010)], linear regression analyses were undertaken to determine the relationships between PCI, parcel land cover and geometry. The 500 meter buffer distance used by Cao et al. to calculate PCI was also analyzed. Twenty iterations of the linear regression model were run based on a changing buffer value to calculate PCI. Two sensitivity analyses were performed based on these model iterations: 1) change in model performance, as expressed by its R2 value, across the range of PCI buffer distances and 2) the change in the coefficient strengths of the independent variables across the range of PCI buffer distances. The linear regression model underperformed as compared to Cao et al.’s study, however, it affirmed the 500 meter buffer distance as a parameter for calculating PCI, with that model iteration returning the highest R2 value (0.587). Buffer distances greater than 500 meters performed relatively well, however, smaller buffer values were associated with weak model performance. Among land cover coefficients, there were scale-sensitivities observed, with some variables changing in strength and polarity across the model iterations. It was determined that PCI could effectively evaluate cooling intensity in the study area, however, using it as a dependent variable within a linear regression model had only moderate performance. This was due to heterogeneity among the makeup of land cover within parcel buffer areas which inhibited the regression model’s ability to build consistent relationships between land cover and PCI.
  • What She Left Behind and Other Stories

    Flynn, Regina; Kessler, Rod; Young, Stephenie (2014-05-01)
    What She Left Behind & Other Stories is a collection of short stories in which the emotional and mental stability of the characters is explored. In writing these stories, I wanted to know: What happens when someone gives away so much of themselves that there is nothing left? Why do we hand ourselves over to begin with? What is it like to live through the sudden onslaught of a mental disorder? What are the different ways we cope with love? With loss? And above all, I wanted to explore the challenge of narrators who are unreliable because of the way these mental and emotional factors play on their ability to rationalize.
  • The Witches of Silent Harbor

    Carey, Kevin; Valens, Keja (2020-05-01)
    A young adult novel set in New England; Abby Bell is uprooted and moved to a new and unfamiliar town after the sudden death of a relative. Silent Harbor is a strange place with many strange people who are in the business of keeping secrets about the supernatural origins of their town.
  • It Can't Rain All The Time

    Flynn, Regina (2020-05-01)
    Mia Vitale's memoir.
  • Improving Compactness Measures For Political Districts

    Luna, Marcos; Ratner, Keith; Strohschein, David (2019-05-01)
    Political redistricting plans often need to consider the compactness of the district’s shape. For states requiring districts to be compact, there is a need to quantify compactness. Existing measures of compactness unfairly penalize districts with coastlines and islands or whose geography itself is not compact. By incorporating information about the underlying geography into the calculation of a modified compactness score, it would be possible to use a compactness test more effectively and fairly across all districts. Several methods of incorporating such data were explored with test districts. A Python script was created to apply the calculations behind the selected method to any polygon shapefile. The script was run on the 436 districts of the 114th Congress of the United States to consider and analyze the modified compactness calculation and its usefulness. Scores for districts covering areas with a significant amount of water were improved when the modified compactness calculation was applied.
  • Which Urban Residents Vote and Why? A Geospatial Analysis of Voting Behavior in Worcester, MA

    Ratner, Keith (2018-08-01)
    This study investigates the relationship between voter travel distance to polling places in Worcester, MA and voter turnout. Linear and geographically-weighted regression are used to evaluate the significance of travel distance and demographic control variables. Worcester appears to be unique when compared to previous studies investigating travel distance and voter turnout. Travel distance to polling place does not reliably predict voter turnout in Worcester, but vehicle ownership, race, and age do.
  • The External Soul

    O'Neil, January (2018-05-01)
    Table of Contents: Faith The Winter Witch The Fool Collins Cove Judgement On Cheese The Presentation of the Self To the Young Girl in the Torn Dress Mental Health Day Callanish Horn Dance Crewel Grayscale Six of Cups Lynn Shore Drive Equinox Redeye Plum Island The Star To the Asshole in the Pickup Truck Who Cut Me Off Litany The Roses that Bloom at the End of the World To the Guy Riding His Bike Without a Helmet, Both Hands Occupied with Texting and Vaping Seasonal Fashion Poppies, Isles of Shoals Two of Swords Flirting Reading Poetry The High Priestess Inishmore The Moon The External Soul To the Shopgirl at the Lush on King’s Spa Road, London The World St Dunstan-in-the-East Ornithomancy Earth & Planetary Sciences Acknowledgements
  • The Female Experience of War in Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried"

    Mulman, Lisa; Young, Stephenie (2014-05-01)
    Unlike most male authors of traditional war literature, Tim O'Brien includes women in the experience of war in The Things They Carried by creating complex female characters who are as changed by the Vietnam War as the soldiers themselves.
  • Examining Literary Scholarship Through A Rhetorical Lens: Extending The Interpretive Map Of Gertrude Stein’s Tender Buttons

    Valens, Keja (2018-05-01)
    From the introduction: American Modernism is a literary era that stands out as producing some of the most challenging texts in the last century. With Modernism came the advent of the psychoanalytic lens in literary criticism, a mourning for the “loss” of traditional literary value, and a belief in deep structures in writing. American Modernist works, such as T.S. Eliot’s “The Wasteland” and Ezra Pound’s “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley,” have consistently remained in the spotlight of literary criticism, and despite the wide variety in the interpretations of these works, their value and contribution to literary tradition is seldom disputed. This is not so for all of their contemporaries, most notably Gertrude Stein. Though Stein is considered a prominent figure in the American Modernist movement, her works deviate from the consistent paths of interpretation that are used to examine the work of her contemporaries. According to Shirley Neuman, Outside the growing body of academic Stein criticism, Gertrude Stein’s public presence, her reputation in any segment of the culture which is aware of her at all, seems to have little to do with her work. Unlike the writers and artists with whom she is generally grouped, she not so much as a writer as a ‘personality,’ the center of one of those nodes of celebrity which are equated with the avant-garde in highbrow mythology. (8) In addition, Neuman notes that scholarship on Stein’s reputation focuses less on Stein herself and more on the famous men--Picasso, Hemingway, etc.-- that she was known for associating with. Her writing is rarely examined on its own for its embodiment of Modernist values or for its contributions to the literary era--the focus of the majority of Stein scholarship (i.e. Dubnick, Wight, Kley, etc.) is what or who influenced her. Thus, although her name is strongly associated with Modernism, Stein is simultaneously marginalized from the literary era.
  • Borne: A Novel

    Carey, Kevin (2018-04-01)
    A married mother of one young child finds herself hospitalized after a car accident. While recovering, it is gradually revealed that she had an abortion the day of the accident. Her family members react to the news of the abortion in varying ways, and her relationship with her mother is particularly complicated by the secret. Their discovery that she also had a brief affair continues to alter family dynamics.
  • The Tactics Of Confrontation: Documentary Epistemology In The Fiction Of W.G. Sebald

    Mulman, Lisa (2017-12-01)
    Of the many enigmatic features of W.G. Sebald's fiction, perhaps the most perplexing is the author's uncanny ability to convey a topic while avoiding explicit reference to it. This is especially true in regard to the Holocaust, a topic Sebald rarely labels with terms traditionally associated with its history, but which arguably constitutes the ethical core of the works. Partially in response to historian Saul Frieländer's suggestion that literature may potentially offer cohesion to "the growing fragmentation of the history of the Nazi period" ("Trauma" 52), this thesis investigates the relationship between Sebald's unique stylistics and its representation of the Holocaust. Through close readings of Sebald's work, I demonstrate that Sebald's and Friendländer's texts are undergirded by similar ethical and epistemological positions, which in turn help explain their significant rhetorical differences. Indeed, the stark contrasts of those differences speaks to the continuing potency of the events to impose a disjunctive effect (despite ethical affinities of the authors) on Holocaust representation.
  • Fire Hazard

    Scrimgeour, J.D. (2018-04-01)
    This is a series of stories from my life that show the aftermath of a fire at my childhood home. The stories focus on darker topics such as: self-harm, anxiety, suicide, domestic abuse, and healing.
  • Burden

    Scrimgeour, J.D. (2017-01-01)
    A collection of poems.
  • The Classes And The Masses: Exploring Britain’s Evolving Notion Of Class During The Great War

    Walker, Peter (2017-05-01)
    The First World War—or, the Great War, as it is commonly referred to in Britain— was a turning point of the twentieth century. Those who lived through the war saw their world transformed. National borders were redrawn; political ideals were shaken; and future certainties became less certain. The horrors of the fighting left many traumatized, as antiquated battlefield tactics and modern warfare technology clashed with catastrophic results. Traditional notions of heroic, single combat were replaced with an impersonal, mechanized destruction, the result of which was the killing of approximately fifteen million people (Puchner 1682). To many, the changes heralded by the war were unbelievable: literary giant Henry James could not believe that the years of prosperity leading up to the war ended in such a disastrous climax (713). The war’s vastness, brutality, and mechanization also helped destroy many nineteenth century social ideals. Looking back at her war experience, Vera Brittain remarked that the war “will make a big division of ‘before’ and ‘after’ in the history of the world, almost if not quite as big as the ‘B.C.’ and ‘A.D.’ division made by the birth of Christ” (Brittain 317). Noted World War One historian Paul Fussell feels the war left “a deep diving line” across the twentieth century, with the post-war world appearing “recognizably ‘modern,’ its institutions precarious, its faith feeble, its choices risky, its very landscapes perverted into Waste Land” (Introduction vii). The literary world reflected many of these changes. In fact, a strong argument could be made that the war era fueled the modernist literary movement. Many works of modernism confront the war and its aftereffects: the horrors of war in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms (1929), the hypocrisy of nationalism in Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front (1929), the social and moral complexities of wartime Britain in Ford’s Parade’s End tetralogy (1924-28), the plight of a shell-shocked veteran in Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway (1925), the alienation of modernity in Eliot’s poem “The Wasteland” (1922), and so on. Many more works draw inspiration from the war and its unsettling nature, and it is clear that the war roused the literary imagination. Study of this literary period underscores how the war helped create a modern and fragmented world. Even though there is much analysis of the modern period, and though much has been gleaned about how the works of modernism reflect a war-changed world, there is one area that merits further investigation: the evolving notion of class in wartime Britain.
  • Commander & Queen: Part I, Beiramar

    Carey, Kevin (2017-05-01)
    The first chapter of Commander & Queen.
  • Bones And Allegories

    Scrimgeour, J.D.; Peary, Alexandria; Valens, Keja (2017-05-01)
    A collection of poems.

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