Theses and Dissertations - Department of English

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    Spenser's Burning Light: The Soul's Transformations in the Faerie Queene
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Sharpe, William Franklin; McElroy, Tricia; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The extent of Spenser’s Neoplatonic influence has long been the subject of debate, and even proponents of a more fully Neoplatonist Spenser have often hesitated to read The Faerie Queene in the full light of this tradition. While the general consensus has acknowledged the deep and abiding influence of Neoplatonism in The Fowre Hymnes, published late in the poet’s career, Spenser uses some of these doctrines and paradigms as early as The Shepheardes Calender. A survey of the shorter poems reveals certain constants in Spenser’s representation of the soul: its immortality, preexistence of the body, and tri-partite structure, and the doctrine of transmigration, which represents spiritual progress through a series of transformations. These characteristics resurface in The Faerie Queene, where they provide an indispensable guide for Spenser’s plan to “fashion” the soul of his reader. While some would object that these Neoplatonic borrowings contradict the poet’s overt Protestantism, especially regarding the doctrine of original sin and the implications of humanity’s fallen nature, Spenser resolves these conflicts through the apophatic teachings of Christian mysticism in the last half of Book I. Spenser’s paradigm of the soul’s progress begins with Holinesse, by which the soul examines its fallen nature in the presence of the divine, before turning to confront worldly and cosmic evil as embodied in the dragon of Book I’s climax. The book’s other evil figures—Archimago, Duessa, and the “Sans Brothers”—reflect the soul’s failure to resolve its own disharmonies in the absence of grace, culminating in Redcrosse’s hellish imprisonment in Orgoglio’s dungeon. Arthur enters the narrative as both a vehicle of divine grace and an adumbration of Redcrosse’s unrealized potential. Redcrosse then enacts the soul’s reorientation towards grace in the House of Holinesse. The subsequent books present the soul’s further development in a series of virtues that project the internal harmonies of the sanctified and sufficiently-fashioned individual into human relationships, through which they can begin to reshape the world of fallen nature in such a way that prefigures the eventual reintegration of the soul, and possibly the entire universe, back into the divine presence.
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    The Early Plays of Shakespeare: Chronology, Authorship, and Intertextuality
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Hulse, Mark Charles; Dowd, Michelle M.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This dissertation explores ways in which diverse subtopics in literary studies converge to answer questions about the composition history, reception, and thematic content of several plays by Shakespeare and Thomas Kyd. I first endorse the theory that Shakespeare’s career began in approximately 1590–91, presenting a fresh look at how external evidence can be viewed quantitatively to counter the frequent assumption that he began writing years earlier. I then consider the works that have been assigned to his first years in London, demonstrating that Arden of Faversham, Titus Andronicus, and The Two Gentlemen of Verona show strong intertextual debts that indicate compositions after 1590. The study of Shakespeare’s relationship to texts from antiquity to the Renaissance is also instrumental in the newfound recognition of Shakespearean collaborations, and I consider how his distinct habits of classical allusion helps us discern his hand from that of co-authors. Identifying this profile of learning improves our understanding of his first artistic phase across works such as the Henry VI saga, Titus Andronicus, and The Taming of the Shrew. My final chapters look intently at disputes surrounding Hamlet, especially the resurging claim that it was a product of Shakespeare’s earliest development. I contend that important intertextual, bibliographic, and bibliometric analyses reaffirm traditional perspectives about the play’s date and the reliability of its divergent texts. Furthermore, I propose that the study of extant quarto copies likely serves as a reliable and valuable clue to their reception, with important ramifications for critical study of Shakespeare and editorial efforts to procure authoritative texts. As a corollary to these examinations of printed works we discover that the surviving German adaptation of the Hamlet story represents the play largely as it was conceived by Shakespeare’s predecessor, Thomas Kyd. Extending recent studies attributing the anonymous source play King Leir to this same important forebear, I consider several of Shakespeare’s far-reaching modifications to Kyd’s earlier dramas. Collectively they reveal the mature playwright’s thematic interest in performed identity, the frailty of the human psyche, and moral ambiguity, while reminding us to afford due credit to important pioneers of the earlier generation.
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    ∞ = Δ (God is Change): Deconstructing/Reconstructing Disability in Octavia Butler's Afro-Futurisms
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2020) Isaacs, Tyra; Manora, Yolanda; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower is a piece in which the affordances of the Afro-futuristic genre grants disabled and minority identities the ability to be imagined anew. This is especially pertinent when considering that black disability is central to Butler’s novel, as evidenced by the protagonist’s disabled status. This protagonist, in creating “Earthseed,” a religious following in Post-Apocalyptic America, integrates the metaphysical qualities of her disability within the very framework of society itself. The infusion of disability awareness and social construction is mirrored in disability and crip discourses. Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower is thus a novel that centers black women’s disability and highlights its potential for success within developing social build and progression.
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    (De)Coding the Church: Christian Performance and White Southern Girlhood in Welty's One Writer's Beginnings
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Perschall, Abigail; Crank, James A.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Eudora Welty’s memoir One Writer’s Beginnings conveys the author’s childhood enchantment with reading and education. Critical engagement with the text often centers its impact on readings of her fiction or Welty’s relationship to other memoirists. I argue, however, that One Writer’s Beginnings also reveals a departure from southern belle-styled femininity through Welty’s interactions with formal schooling and the Church. Her family’s comparatively secular position in such a conservative, Christian population distinguishes Welty’s positionality from many of her immediate peers, making her a unique example of Christianity’s secular reach throughout the South. Her memoir is of particular interest because it presents historical verisimilitude as negotiated through the author’s self-definition, which adds another dimension to existing studies of Welty’s life. Examining the ways Welty narrates the extremes of women’s publicly available identities and the class performance inherent in church membership, I trace the young author’s abandonment of the southern belle archetype through her critique of her childhood Jackson, Mississippi and its religious practices.
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    Robert Loveman: Belated Romanticist
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1932) Friedman, Helen Adele; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The purpose of this thesis, however, is not to "stir a little dust of praise" that would soon settle down again into oblivion. Its purpose is to present an accurate record of the life and work of a gentle and lovable man who, if for no other reason, is significant because he is typical of a vast group of belated romanticists who made the mistake of following the old, well-worn paths rather than cutting new trails of their own.
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    Black feminist utopianism and Gloria Naylor's Mama Day
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Patel, Megha D.; Manora, Yolanda; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The feminist utopia was a prominent literary genre for women writers throughout the 1900s. Otherworldly separatist societies in novels such as Herland (1915) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and The Female Man (1975) by Joanna Russ featured speculative elements to present feminist issues to readers and advocate for a space created by and for women. But often lacking from popular depictions of feminist utopianism is the inclusion or even the presence of Black women’s voices and perspectives. Many of the most integral texts of the “feminist utopian” genre are largely white-centered and feature white women’s voices at the forefront. The questions then arise: where do Black women and their voices enter in? Is there such a thing as a Black feminist utopia? I posit that Black feminist utopian literature does exist, but that it often does not align with the same set of standards that a non-Black feminist utopia, as it was popularly conceived by 20th century white women writers, would adhere to. This project seeks to locate and articulate possible features of Black feminist utopianism that may then allow such fictions to be ‘read’ as utopian. Some of these characteristics may include connections to African folk traditions, a focus on the lived experiences of Black women and their communities, and a home place that is created against systemic oppression. Through a Black feminist theoretical approach, I will illustrate how possible Black feminist utopias exist in many spaces and places, with Gloria Naylor’s Mama Day as an exemplary text. Through the figure of Sapphira Wade, who is mother, goddess, and creator of the utopia, and through her descendants, nuanced portrayals of traditions such as conjure take prominence. And the island itself is a liminal home for a community that challenges Western paradigms, in a space that is built and owned by its people. In her depiction of the island of Willow Springs and the women of the Day family, Naylor presents us with one version of a Black feminist utopia, and in particular, one that endures through its centering of Black women’s intersectional experiences.
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    The role of language use in identity construction amongst LGBTQI+ Youtubers
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Acar, Sezgi; Poole, Robert; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The majority of previous studies of sexual orientation and phonetic variation are based on speakers of North American English. The nature of social scientific theory can be founded exclusively on people from western, educated, industrialized, prosperous, and democratic societies (Henrich et al., 2010), which calls for further cross-linguistic examinations. Moreover, studies that examine identity construction through linguistic markers primarily focus on phonetic variation while overlooking other language phenomena such as translingual practices. This study aims to address these two issues in the research as it seeks to expand the diversity of the literature by observing Turkish speakers within the LGBTQ community in Turkey. The study first explores the effect of sexual orientation on speech production and how sexual orientation contributes to identity construction among LGBTQ persons on the video-sharing platform YouTube. Additionally, the study investigates the role of translingual practices between Turkish, English, and Lubunca, the gay slang of Turkey. Using digital ethnography, the first analysis was conducted on the speech production of five gay male youtubers through the data collection of 10 vlogs selected based on popularity and recency. The phonetic variables of the informants, flapping [ɾ], the prolonging of the vowels /o/, /ö/, /a/, /i/ including the hyper-articulation of /yor/, and the aspirated /s/, were acoustically measured using Praat (Boersma & Weenink, 2017). The second investigation explored the same data to analyze translingual practices within the LGBTQ youtuber community in an attempt to discover its relation to self-representation. The findings confirm the existence of salient variables that correlate with sexual orientation. While the use of Lubunca seems to be effective in expressing membership, for visibility and entertainment, the effects of translingual practices between Turkish and English reflect a more westernized and global identity.
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    Paddle faster I hear techno music: mapping the prehomosexual and the posthomosexual in the souths of James Dickey and Samuel R. Delany
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Coffman, Alexander; Crank, James A.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This thesis argues that James Dickey’s Deliverance, and Samuel R. Delany’s Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders are works of speculative Southern fiction by reading them through David Halperin’s “How to do the History of Male Homosexuality” and his notion of prehomosexual discourses. It begins by using Clayton Bigsby as a model to show the fundamental work of speculative fiction to unravel real, historical ideologies. To describe this work, I read the skit with Scott Romine’s The Real South and Slavoj Zizek’s The Sublime Object of Ideology. From there I turn to Deliverance, a novel that has been sorely overlooked by Southern literature scholars, due to the film adaptation taking a more prominent place in American pop culture. My analysis of Deliverance attempts to push back against that tendency by reading the novel through Herbert Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization in order to demonstrate that the novel is concerned with characters who travel to the Deep South to escape from modernity, only to be met by a violent resurgence of prehomosexual discourses. I then pair Deliverance with Through the Valley by arguing that the latter reconfigures the prehomosexual into what I call the posthomosexual by presenting a queer space in rural Georgia which retains the differentiating language of the prehomosexual. This posthomosexual space employs that language to generate unbridled, and problematic, utopian pleasure. I also discuss how labor is presented as another avenue towards pleasure by reading the text through Marcuse’s notion of labor without toil. I then conclude this section by complicating Delany’s utopian anxieties by analyzing the incestual relationships and racial language in the novel and discussing the difference between a subject who comes down to a utopia versus a subject who is born into it.
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    The flood, the ark, & the shark: narrating the natural world in early modern Europe
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Foster, MK; McElroy, Tricia A.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Revisiting the academic discourse around the long-term impact of early modern Europe’s shifting ecological attitudes, this project resuscitates the critical premise of “nature as performance” and proposes a revitalized, interdisciplinary methodology for approaching textual and visual mediations of the natural world. Through a lens of “rustick horrour” then, this project looks at how 16th- and 17th-century Europe recasts the natural world in heightened, performative terms and narrates nature as monstrous and horrifying. As a focal point, this project applies rustick horrour to early modern figurations of “the Flood” and “the Ark” from the Biblical Genesis narrative and unpacks their roles in natural history treatises, maps, atlases, botanical catalogs, zoological atlases, almanacs, paintings, epic poetry, and travel journals. The “Flood,” as this project identifies, serves as scientific keystone in cultural imaginings of the Earth’s history for several centuries. However, with the advent of transatlantic exploration at the end of the 15th century and subsequent booms in scientific study of the natural world across the next two centuries, the veracity of “the Flood” weakens and becomes dislodged from its keystone position, causing a rupture in knowledge that ripples through early modern culture. This project reads the loss of the “Flood” from understandings of the natural world as an epistemic apocalypse, and through a lens of rustick horrour, this project explores how the destabilization of this ur-horror narrative triggers widespread anxiety about the overwhelming, inundating power of nature and sparks a centuries-long, intensive “Ark” re-ordering of natural world knowledge, which this project reads as performative, violent, and monstrous in its own right. Additionally, this project also applies rustick horrour to early modern mediations of sharks, reads them as creature counterparts to figurations of “the Flood” and “the Ark,” and explores their role within the shifting dynamics of natural world “apex power” in 16th- and 17th-century Europe.
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    Intoxicated pilgrims in America's early atomic age literature
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Kline, Erik; Bilwakesh, Nikhil; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This dissertation has three primary concerns. 1.) How did the military-industrial complex affect an alienation of religious or spiritual feeling in the United States during the early- to mid-Cold War? 2.) How did countercultural authors of this period seek to ameliorate this alienation through both metaphysical and narcotic pursuit? 3.) How do they represent their experiences and beliefs as an interaction with various literary traditions? I argue that in the wake of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, American cultural production experienced something like a spiritual malaise, and that some American writers responded to this ethos by pursuing religious experience through travel and chemical intoxication. In turn, they represent these visionary and ecstatic experiences through textual experimentation, including mythmaking, nonlinear sequencing, and incorporation of word-image. Looking primarily at the works of Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), William S. Burroughs (1914-1997), and Ram Dass (1931-2019), I argue that these writers represent an archetype I call the intoxicated pilgrim. While the archetype appears perennially across literatures, it experienced something like a renaissance in the early Cold War years, as new narcotics became more widely available, intra- and intercontinental travel more efficient, and social tastes more middlebrow. These writers worked to reshape religious experience and American identity, offering readers new avenues for spiritual meaning-making.
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    Shakespeare, race, and adaptation in times of unrest, 1601-1888
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Hamlet, Jess; Dowd, Michelle M.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This dissertation takes up the question of Shakespeare’s literary afterlives in seventeenth-century England, pre-Jacksonian America, and nineteenth-century Britain and British India. By examining when and where Shakespeare excerpts show up in written texts I perform four case studies of Shakespeare’s use in moments of crisis and change. Beginning with the Earl of Essex’s abortive uprising in 1601 London, I ask how the event has come to be a part of Richard II’s literary history and how that narrative feeds into ideas about British national identity and the creation of an idealized historical past, arguing that the lore surrounding the deposition scene and Elizabeth I’s possibly-apocryphal reaction to the Rebellion and the play gave license to future generations hoping to put Shakespeare to use to further their own political agendas. From there, I turn my attention to commonplace books compiled during the English Civil War and Interregnum, considering the Shakespeare snippets within them and reflecting on how these dramatic extracts function to create a narrative of a completely White England and White archives. I argue that the study of Shakespeare in commonplace books is not only an underrepresented area of scholarship that helps us understand how Renaissance readers interacted with Shakespeare, but that the practice of commonplacing Shakespeare for personal use in the seventeenth century set a precedent for co-opting Shakespeare’s works in order to further various agendas in the nineteenth century. My final two chapters examine how White authors excerpted Shakespeare in nineteenth-century newspapers and novels in both America and England during times of rapid social and political change. In both cases, White authors use Shakespeare to romanticize non-White cultures and events (American Indians/Indian removal policies in pre-Jacksonian America, Indian culture and the First War of Indian Independence in the mid-1850s) for White audiences, contributing to the legacy of excluding non-Whites from conversations about Shakespeare while at the same time insisting on Shakespeare’s “universality.” The authors use Shakespeare to aestheticize their non-White characters, valorize their White protagonists, and practice an “acceptance” of indigenous characters that hides an agenda against interracial relationships and subtly in favor of Indian removal policies and White settler colonialism. Ultimately, this dissertation seeks to acknowledge Shakespeare’s central place in the canon while interrogating the exclusionary culture surrounding him and offering hope for a more inclusive field in the twenty-first century. Based on literary analysis while also offering historicist approaches and engaging with premodern critical race studies and theatre history, this project brings interdisciplinarity to the fore. Once these networks of power become visible, we can better encourage and support modern scholarship’s concerns with accessibility, visibility, and diversifying the canon.
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    Mass media critique in Charles Dickens’s "Martin Chuzzlewit" and William North’s "The City of Jugglers; or, Free-Trade in Souls"
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Kjoss, Victor; Pionke, Albert; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    The Victorian period is arguably the era when the mass media was born. In the nineteenth century, a myriad of factors allowed newspaper circulations to increase substantially and transformed the paper from something that was read only by the most affluent members of society into the cultural and social epicenter of Victorian life. The abolishment of press taxes, the advertising duty, the stamp duty, and the paper duty permitted publications to lower their prices, print more editions, and have larger pages. Locomotion advances, and the electric telegraph, lead to news traveling faster and from farther away than it ever had before. A litany of printing innovations revolutionized the printing industry and allowed for unprecedented volumes of material to be produced at rapid speeds. These technological improvements and changes in policy granted Victorian periodicals the ability to significantly shape the public’s political and social consciousness. Furthermore, they allowed the press to become a Foucauldian force that could eviscerate the reputation of public figures. Newspapers’ growing popularity also threatened to culturally displace the novel and attenuate the novel’s ability to act as a meaningful social influencer. Scholarly attention has been paid to how many prominent critics and essayists (e.g. Thomas Carlyle, Matthew Arnold, Philip Gaskell, etc.) responded to the press’s stark growth and its inculcating potential, but little attention has been spent analyzing how novelists reacted to the new media landscape that threatened them both as citizens and artists. In this project, I’ve chosen to analyze Charles Dickens’s "Martin Chuzzlewit" (1844) and William North’s "The City of the Jugglers: Or Free-Trade in Souls" (1850) since they are the Victorian novels that arguably present the first comprehensive “literary media critique.” I also hope to position Chuzzlewit and Jugglers as critical texts for media archeologists who are striving to understand how literature was utilized by novelists to critique the mass media during its nascent development.
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    Samuel Beckett's negative narrative and its historicity: towards a critical historicism
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Lu, Xinyu; McNaughton, James; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This thesis interprets Samuel Beckett’s negative narrative from a historicist point of view. Chapter One reconstructs the Viconian elements in Beckett’s early critical work, “Dante … Bruno . Vico .. Joyce.” Beckett’s Viconian interpretation of the overlap between historicity and individuality in Joyce’s narrative forecasts Beckett's own narrative experiments. Chapter Two explores Beckett’s aesthetic construction of non-identity in Three Novels. The negativity is oriented in the post-traumatic experience of Beckett’s narrators. As their psychological and physiological conditions degenerate, their narrations become increasingly abstract in the temporospatial structure, morphology, and causation, but remain concrete in representing worsening corporeal experience through the stream of consciousness. The overlap between concretion and abstraction turns the corporeal experience into a signifier that potentially signifies various possible historical conditions. Chapter Three seeks the perfection of Adorno’s historicist interpretation of Beckett’s narrative with the readings by Badiou and McNaughton. Adorno initiates a historicist reading of Beckett. However, Adorno’s historicist reading potentially contains nihilism that contradicts Adorno’s dialectics of history. Badiou liberates the voidness and abstraction in Beckett’s narrative from nihilism, and he redefines it as an intellectual tendency to find the generic knowledge. McNaughton’s reading of Endgame reveals its concrete historicity by focusing on language and rhetoric form in Beckett’s narrative and thereby establishes an immediate connection between Beckett’s narrative and historicity. In this way, Beckett’s historicist interpretation becomes independent of a conceptual mediator and retains the priority of historicity.
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    The female body as contagion, commodity, and cure: examining discursive agency through patriarchal quackery in Elizabeth Inchbald and Mary Robinson
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Green, Jordan; Tedeschi, Stephen; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    This thesis seeks to prod at the disciplinary rift between science and literature in an attempt to examine how the female body has been reinscribed, further codified, and controlled within the gendered linguistic structures of eighteenth century experimental electrical medicine. Analyzing Elizabeth Inchbald’s Animal Magnetism in conversation with Mary Robinson’s Walsingham; or, The Pupil of Nature, I trace both authors’ characterization of the electromagnetic quack doctor as a figure of patriarchal control. I argue that Robinson and Inchbald articulate a critique of the ways in which the rigidly gendered, heavily corporeal, and ambiguous linguistic structures of electricity collapse into a very literal oppression of the female body within patriarchal social structures. Appropriating the language of electricity, and the medical discourses of madness, sympathy, sensibility, and power which undergird it, Inchbald and Robinson examine how these quack figures translate this vocabulary into patriarchal terms to prey upon women. The inherently performative nature of experimental electrical therapy, and its gendered, often eroticized, scientific language which centers upon the female body, allows for a further interrogation of the way that the literal and metaphoric configurations of electrical science converge over the female body.
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    Developing your academic writing friend: an academic writing tool for independent use
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Scherber, Yanisa Haley; Poole, Robert; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    As the popularity of independent learning resources grows, new approaches to education and educational technology must be considered. This thesis introduces and details the development process for the prototype of a new automated feedback tool for research and academic writing called Your Academic Writing Friend, which is designed to help L2 English writers improve their research and academic manuscripts in a self-paced, independent learning environment. In this study, the Academic Writing Check feature of Your Academic Writing Friend was developed. The purpose of this feature is to provide the user suggestions on their writing samples, based on the following typical characteristics of academic writing: academic vocabulary, academic multi-word expressions, and academic grammar. This study also tested the efficacy of the suggestions provided by the Academic Writing Check portion of Your Academic Writing Friend, as judged by current MA in TESOL students who were also teaching a composition course for multilingual writers. These participants were asked to evaluate various text sample pairs and determine which sample (i.e., the original sample or the sample edited by Your Academic Writing Friend) subjectively appeared more “academic”. Three types of text samples were evaluated in this study: (1) samples written directly for this study by the Principal Investigator; (2) L2 English writing samples taken from the Michigan Corpus of Upper-Level Student Papers (MICUSP) corpus, but only incorporating a portion of the suggestions provided by Your Academic Writing Friend; and (3) L2 English writing samples taken from the MICUSP corpus, but incorporating all of the suggestions provided by Your Academic Writing Friend. The results of this study show that Your Academic Writing Friend did improve the relative “academicness” of some writing samples; however, it did not improve the majority of writing samples. These results indicate that this tool shows some promise and may be useful for revising research and academic manuscripts in certain contexts; however, Your Academic Writing Friend requires further refinement prior to its official release.
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    “How many more are there? How much longer is this going on?”: eugenic discourse and themes in Faulkner’s snopes trilogy
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Wesley, Shelby Miranda; Crank, James A.; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    William Faulkner’s Snopes trilogy (comprised of The Hamlet, The Town, and The Mansion) follows the rise of the Snopeses, an impoverished white family that moves into Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, and begins to replace the area’s aristocrats. It is remarkably easy to read the Snopes trilogy as an epic saga primarily revolved around social climbing and class anxieties, but a reading such as that must take into account how the socioeconomic themes in the trilogy are intersected and influenced by eugenic discourse. This thesis argues that, in all three novels, Faulkner engages in eugenic characterization, rhetoric, and language and portrays eugenic situations in order to capture the zeitgeist of the American eugenic era and expose eugenic discourse as illogical and potentially dangerous. While Jay Watson believes that eugenic discourse simply “represented a complex, ambiguous cultural legacy for Faulkner” and that Faulkner may have had complicated sentiments regarding the eugenics movement, this thesis will establish the idea that the Faulkner that appears in the Snopes trilogy is staunchly critical of eugenic ideology and continuously warns the reader of the folly and danger that lurks within it (J. Watson 53). A thesis of this sort is especially relevant today since the eugenic panic is just now reemerging into the public consciousness after years of being a distant memory avoided by history teachers who feel pressured to obscure one of America’s darkest moments.
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    The educational visual "language" in graphic novel adaptations of Shakespeare
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Fulton, Ciara Jean; Dowd, Michelle; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    There is a hierarchal problem in how Shakespearean graphic novels are taught withinsecondary level education. As will be shown in my review of the critical work surrounding Shakespearean graphic novel adaptations, graphic texts have long helped instructors, teachers, and other fellow educators, deconstruct and challenge how we view Shakespeare and the language of his plays. The graphic novels I have chosen for my study (Manga Classics Hamlet, Ian Doescher’s Deadpool Does Shakespeare, Chuck Austen’s She Lies With Angels, and Ronald Wimberly’s Prince of Cats) have been selected not because they exemplify the “best” adapted graphic novels of Shakespeare, but rather because they pose interesting questions, theories, and models of delivery of the original texts of Shakespeare. Showcasing the Shakespearean “rhizomatic” theory posed by Douglas Lanier, these graphic novels are very different from one another in how they reconnect the reader (and “viewer”) to the early modern past and language of Shakespeare’s dramatic texts. While all of them respect the so-called “original text,” there is an obvious line of tension between how they embrace, incorporate, or deviate from Shakespeare. These differences range from revolutionary, in bringing new purpose to adaptation theory surrounding Shakespeare, to the acknowledgement that Shakespeare’s Elizabethan English can be modified, changed, and “paraphrased” and still remain “Shakespeare.” Therefore, my thesis will ultimately prove that Shakespeare, the poet as well as the idea, is not limited to a “language,” but can also be seen and studied in images, graphic artwork, and the skilled linework of a graphic novel. In recognizing that Shakespeare’s language is not simply a textual entity, but also a visual cultural text, I hope to show that secondary education level students can not only learn to interpret the original language of Shakespeare but come to recognize the importance of his graphic imprint.
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    The rhetoric of rank in early modern drama from 1590 to 1642
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 2021) Smith, Matthew Burdick; Dowd, Michelle; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    My dissertation, “The Rhetoric of Rank in Early Modern Drama from 1590 to 1642,”argues that early modern dramatic works pull from rhetorical theory to shape social status in a period that underwent significant social transformations. Arguing that dramatists use early modern rhetorical manuals to respond to historically specific social tensions, I explore how dramatists use rhetorical figures to comment on social tensions between ranks, define the social role of emergent social roles, and define social values. While I explore the relationship between early modern drama and rhetorical manuals, I situate my analysis alongside the work of social historians to provide a historically situated account. I argue that rhetorical theory plays a central, though underexamined, role in the formation of those emergent social roles—like merchant or factor—and that dramatists dramatize the process of social (trans)formation through rhetorical figures. Furthermore, social formation itself is a process with often contradictory priorities and perspectives, and I show that dramatists use the semantic flexibility of rhetorical figures to support a range of attitudes that are sympathetic, tolerant, or even hostile towards social change, illustrating that social change is not the inevitable product of historical contexts but a process structured in part by rhetoric. My dissertation traces how rhetoric is used to cultivate civic values among ranks with competing interests, a process rife with social tensions that the drama lays bare.
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    Idealism in Kant and Coleridge
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1936) Hawse, Doris Hartwell; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    Given a vital contact with the daily life of man by his use of it as a constant moral touch-stone, it must yet be out of reach or his logic and his intellectual proving. If it exist in and or and for the soul, it may not be judged by mental or other methods, since they are not of its sphere .and are not valid there as a consequence. Immanuel Kant believed these things, saw them lucidly, and embodied them in a system of beautiful order and completeness. Samuel Coleridge beheld them poetically half-veiled as in a dream, and expressed them sometimes unconsciously and indirectly, sometimes plainly with almost inspired clarity, often ill and obscurely. This thesis represents an effort to amplify the foregoing statement, in the hope that some conclusion may be reached regarding the nature of idealism in philosophy and in literature.
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    The Mood of a Long-Seated Woman and Other Stories
    (University of Alabama Libraries, 1978) Rousse, Justin; University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
    A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts in the Program of Creative Writing in the Graduate School of The University of Alabama.