Alumni Dissertations and Theses

 
 

Alumni Dissertations and Theses

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  • The Foundations of American Regional Theatre

    Author:
    Tomoko Aono
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Theatre
    Advisor:
    Judith Milhous
    Abstract:

    Since the early 1960s, regional theatre has grown into one of the major sectors of contemporary American theatre culture. Why have so many regional theatres existed for years? Why have they attracted such a large audience? Partially through a survey of the regional theatre sector as a whole, and mainly through case studies of the four individual theatres, this study aims to answer these questions. American regional theatres are unique in that they offer more than the artistic merit and entertainment value of their productions. This study proposes the hypothesis that, the very foundations of American regional theatres lie not in their productions' artistic or entertainment values, but in their contributions to their communities. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the development of the regional theatre sector as well as the basic terminology and the scope of the field. Chapter 2 examines the regional theatres' evolving relationship with Broadway from the early 1960s through the 1980s. Chapters 3 and 4 examine four regional theatres, Arena Stage, the Guthrie Theater, the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, to look into regional theatres' relationship with the communities in which they are located. The case studies demonstrates that, once expected to pay their own way through the box office revenues alone, these theatres switched to local, non-governmental sources to supplement their box office revenues and/or to make up for the loss of the foundation grants by the early 1970s. Since then, they have been successfully obtaining annual contributions from local donors by nurturing a shared sense of ownership of the theatres within the communities. Chapter 5 summarizes the research findings and revisits the hypothesis proposed in Chapter 1. The study concludes that regional theatres have been able to secure their long-term continuation within their communities and continue to attract large audiences only because they have assumed the position of public theatres responsive to communities at large for the first time on a large scale in the history of American theatre.

  • Electrodynamics of Nearly Ferroelectric Superconductors in the local London and non-local Pippard limits

    Author:
    Upali Aparajita
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Physics
    Advisor:
    Joseph Birman
    Abstract:

    In this work, electrodynamics of a Nearly Ferroelectric Superconduct- ing (NFE-SC) material in local London limit and nonlocal Pippard limit is reported. NFE-SC materials exhibit superconductivity and are in a nearly- ferroelectric state. One example of such materials is 'n' or 'p' doped $SrTiO_3$ . The structure of a single vortex in an NFE-SC thin film is explored. Taking $n-SrTiO_3$ as our sample of choice, the frequency dependent magnetic field and current within the sample are calculated. The expulsion of the vortex from the sample at resonances is observed. The interaction between two vortices due to the presence of high background dielectric is explored. The effect of finite thickness on the vortex structure is explored for an NFE-SC film. With increase in film thickness, the resonances become sharper and as a result the system undergoes oscillatory transition between ferroelectric, superconducting and Meissner-like states. Nonlocal effects in the NFE-SC thin film are explored in the Pippard limit. Specular Reflection and Random scattering are studied. Analytical as well as numerical methods are used to investigate the nature of the material and solve for the current and magnetic field within the sample. The current is found to be non-zero within the sample. The material properties can be manipulated to enhance or expel the current from within the sample with the change in frequency. The material shows complex transitions between Type-I, Type-II superconducting as well as Dielectric states. Numerical codes developed for the solution of the integro-differential equations are given.

  • GUILTY STEREOTYPES: THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF RACE AND SUSPICION IN POLICE INTERVIEWS AND INTERROGATIONS

    Author:
    Sara Appleby
    Year of Dissertation:
    2015
    Program:
    Psychology
    Advisor:
    Maria Hartwig
    Abstract:

    Over 300 people have been exonerated by post conviction DNA testing, unequivocally proving their innocence. Nearly 70% of these post conviction DNA exonerees are members of minority groups, and approximately 69% of those convicted as a result of false confessions are racial/ethnic minorities (www.innocenceproject.org). To date, there is little research on the role of race in police interviews and interrogations. The present research had two goals. First, we examined Black and White participants' experiences during a mock crime interview. Second, using the interviews from Study 1, we evaluated the role suspect race plays in police officers' veracity judgments. Using a sample of community members, Black and White suspects in Study 1 reported similar levels of anxiety and exhibited similar rates of nonverbal behaviors commonly believed to be cues to deception. Similarly, Black and White suspects cooperated with the investigation at similar rates. Police officers in Study 2 exhibited chance levels of accuracy in their culpability decisions. However, police officers were significantly more likely to misjudge innocent Black suspects as guilty than innocent White suspects, while showing no difference in their accuracy rates for guilty suspects. Additionally, police officers judged Black suspects to be less cooperative and less forthcoming than White suspects. These results suggest that being questioned about a crime is stressful regardless of a suspect's race or ethnicity. They also suggest that innocent Black suspects are at a greater risk of being erroneously judged as guilty during police interviews and interrogations. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

  • Adonis' Poetics of Vision and Modernity

    Author:
    Rasha Arabi
    Year of Dissertation:
    2015
    Program:
    Middle Eastern Studies
    Advisor:
    Christopher Stone
    Abstract:

    The Syrian poet and cultural critic Ali Ahmad Said (1930 -) (Adonis) is one of the most influential Arab poets of the 20th century. His poetry represents a radical rupture with what was established before. Adonis’ poetry is associated with innovation and revolution, and his language is characterized by mysticism and hermeticism. While living in Beirut, he co-founded the influential literary journal Shi'r (1956-63) with the Lebanese poet Yusuf al-Khal (1917-1987), and a few years later he founded his own journal, Mawaqif (1968-1998). Both journals served as a prominent literary platform for cultural modernity and radical criticism of the Arab heritage and tradition. Adonis’ literary and theoretical oeuvres have been the subject of a number of discussions and debates within the Arab intellectual circle and beyond. This paper, is chiefly concerned with Adonis’ notion of the poetic vision that expresses itself in two dimensions, as a matter of form and content. The formal expression of vision is artistic, to “make it new,” as Ezra Pound said: poetry must take new forms and use new techniques to reflect the now-ness of vision; its ability to present the world as it is right now. When a poet is being visionary, he or she cannot use old forms and motifs, because this would be to substitute the lived experience of the poet for purely literary conventions. The notion of vision that manifests itself as a poetic content is essentially concerned with the poet’s insight and not his technique. Such poetic insight finds resonance in Sufist and Surrealist pronouncements; it seeks meaning in other metaphysical realities. Hence, the content of vision is the mystical, the otherworldly. This is more like William Blake’s view of vision: poetry must describe the truth of everything that evades and escapes the senses. A poet who is visionary cannot simply write poems about everyday life, because the poet sees more than the everyday person. I suggest that these two dimensions are potentially in tension. They are not, exactly, saying the same thing. However, I attempt to investigate how Adonis adapts and develops this interesting marriage of the two kinds of vision in his poetics.

  • Designing Social Production Models to Support Producer-Consumer Collaboration and Innovation in Digital Social Spaces

    Author:
    Reina Arakji
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Business
    Advisor:
    Karl Lang
    Abstract:

    The first decade of the twenty-first century has seen dramatic advances in Internet technologies. Digital social spaces have emerged as popular Internet applications that are radically changing how firms and consumers of digital content interact. In the first chapter "Research Agenda" I introduce my research and the context within which it is developed. In the second chapter "Digital Consumer Networks and Producer-Consumer Collaboration: Innovation and Product Development in the Video Game Industry", I show how producers may partially open proprietary content to consumers to allow them to co-create derivative products. By re-appropriating these derivatives, the firms are successfully outsourcing parts of their design and development process to consumer networks. Applying economic analysis, I explore the potential benefits and risks of co-creation and derive the optimal combination of copyright enforcement and consumer compensation levels. In the third chapter "Firms and Innovative Digital Consumer Networks: An Analysis of Social Network Structure and Innovation Selection Mechanism", I explore how word of mouth effects are an important indicator of the popularity and economic potential of newly available digital goods. I present three selection mechanisms that firms can employ in order to identify user-generated product innovations that are fit for re-appropriation. The first is based on direct peer-review, the second uses a simple evolutionary game theoretic model, and the third proposes a stochastic epidemiological innovation diffusion model. In the fourth chapter "The Evolution of Innovation in Digital Social Spaces through Mutation, Natural Selection and Reuse of Novel Synthetic Routines", I examine the particular question of how innovations diffuse across digital social space designs and affect change on the industry level. I apply evolutionary theory as a theoretical lens and develop a stochastic process model that allows studying the factors that determine which innovations survive in the market and which do not. Analytical analysis of the proposed process model enables the examination of how organizational strategies affect industry trends and the determination of the conditions under which standardization in the industry is achieved. In the fifth chapter "Strategic Implications" I discuss the risks faced by firms in the digital social space industry that are adopting co-creation approaches. My research suggests that effective management of the collaboration between producers and consumers is key for sustainable co-creation business models. I conclude with the sixth chapter and present directions for future research.

  • Reframing the Narrative of Dada in New York, 1910-1926

    Author:
    Sarah Archino
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Art History
    Advisor:
    Rose-Carol Long
    Abstract:

    New York Dada has historically been positioned as incompatible or antithetical to American modernism. This dissertation argues that the Dada spirit in New York not only rejected European conventions of high art, but did so with the nationalistic desire to develop a modern and independent American idiom through the influence of anarchism and vernacular culture. This study traces the influence of anarchism in New York on Alfred Stieglitz, his influential gallery, "291," and his publication, Camera Work, as well as larger anarchistic networks during the early 1910s. In this atmosphere of iconoclastic experimentation, vernacular culture emerged as an alternative strategy to critique the definitions and institutions of fine art. Whereas most studies of New York Dada focus on the work of Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, and Man Ray, this study reconstructs the cultural conditions in which they worked. The year 1915 becomes a watershed moment, not simply for the arrival of Duchamp and Picabia, but for the publication of Van Wyck Brooks's cultural critique, America's Coming-of-Age. This text blamed the dichotomy between the highbrow and lowbrow for the lack of a truly American cultural idiom. I argue that the main character of New York Dada - its enthusiastic adoption of the subjects, styles, and strategies of vernacular culture - attempts to bridge that divide. The vernacular came to represent a new standard of American identity, a flexible definition that could allow an amateurish aesthetic to coexist with industrial imagery. This study broadens the scope of New York Dada production to include the work of artists and critics who collaborated in this Dada spirit, but have historically been separated from the Dada movement. In this larger context, canonical works of Dada, especially periodicals such as The Ridgefield Gazook (1915), The Blind Man (1917), and New York Dada (1921) will be reconsidered.

  • The Transnational Body in American Literature, 1798-1846

    Author:
    Talia Argondezzi
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    English
    Advisor:
    David Reynolds
    Abstract:

    Post-revolutionary American authors, living under a relatively stable government and economy, turned their attention simultaneously inward and outward: inward to understand the strange workings of the human body, and outward to comprehend and control new territory. Focusing on the period between the Quasi-War with France and the U.S. War with Mexico, conflicts in which the United States asserted its international power, I identify several novels that dramatize the outward gaze toward new territory through an inward gaze toward the body. The Transnational Body puts embodiment into conversation with early American politics, not only because the body is a conventional symbol for the political sphere, but also because early U.S. policies, both domestic and international, were predicated on notions of race and sex, distinctions thought to be identifiable on the body. Flouting the expectation that embodiment is largely a personal, highly localized matter, this dissertation seeks a new route through early American literature by interrogating what extraordinary fictional bodies express about early U.S. politics, particularly the politics of expansion and borders. In each novel I examine, the author makes a spectacle of embodiment by representing unusual bodily events, such as dismemberment, cannibalism, metempsychosis, and mesmerism, that serve as indices of the young United States' uncertainty about its position in the world. By attending to the embodied domestic and international politics within each novel, I conclude first that anxieties about democracy, race, national stability, and expansion pervade early U.S. literature. Moreover, I argue that these novels help us trace a trajectory through the first half of the nineteenth century. I discern a shift from anxiety about the leveling effects of democracy in the late eighteenth century, through tentative experimentation with expansionism in the early nineteenth century, to anxieties about secession and faction that undergirded the rising nationalistic sentiments of the 1820s, ultimately to uncertainty about the imperialistic results of that nationalism. Throughout this trajectory, a constant remains: early U.S. thinking about politics, and especially about the relationship between domestic and international spheres, is intertwined with the body. The Transnational Body examines these imbrications between politics and the body.

  • Increasing the Variability of Verbal Responding in Children and Adolescents with Autism Using a Conjunctive-Differential Reinforcement Schedule

    Author:
    Paul Argott
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Psychology
    Advisor:
    Nancy Hemmes
    Abstract:

    A procedure intended to teach variation in appropriate verbal responding to an antecedent stimulus was systematically manipulated for 5 individuals with autism. Four antecedent stimuli that include the clause, "else do you like to do" were presented in a varying order. Five responses that were appropriate to any of the antecedent stimuli were taught using a script-fading procedure. Percentage of varied verbal responses was studied under a conjunctive-differential reinforcement procedure using a multiple-baseline-across-subjects experimental design. Under a modified percentile requirement of the conjunctive schedule, responses were ranked according to their frequency of emission after every session and reinforcement was omitted for the 2 most frequent responses on the subsequent session. Under a lag-1 schedule requirement, reinforcement was omitted for consecutive occurrences of a given response within a given session. Data showed that the percentage of responses meeting the conjunctive schedule requirement increased with the systematic implementation of the schedule. A variability measure showed that responses were more stereotyped during baseline sessions in comparison to treatment sessions. Comparisons between the numbers of different statements emitted by individuals with autism versus those of their typically developing peers suggest that further research is necessary to increase responding to a typical level. Nevertheless, responses by teachers and parents to a social validity questionnaire suggest that the procedure could be applied in clinical and home settings and used to increase varied verbal responding.

  • Left Behind: Children of Dominican Deportees in a Bulimic Society

    Author:
    Fenix Arias
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Urban Education
    Advisor:
    Nicholas Michelli
    Abstract:

    The United States has always taken great pride in its children's protection programs that have served as an example to developing countries. As a beacon of opportunity to poor and underdeveloped countries, the country is also known amongst third world nations, as the only hope to achieve social mobility because of its educational and labor market opportunities. Recently, in an apparent contradiction to its protection programs, social, and economic opportunities, the nation has instituted laws that undermine the welfare of children of immigrants and immigrant children by deporting people, regardless of their immigration status. Qualitative data were utilized to examine the impact of deportation on Dominican children and families left behind in the United States. The study's aim was to articulate the impact of parent's regurgitation/ejection on children's education, social integration, economic, and health and mental health status. The theories of social bulimic-exclusion and inclusion-, human waste, and toxic environment served as a framework for understanding how the society has become bulimic by both massively importing and deporting human capital. Social exclusion forces low-income and marginalized children to multi-levels of stigmatization by reinforcing the poverty cycle. Fragmented assimilation, a form of social inclusion, further compounds the exclusion of minority and immigrants because it does not fully integrate individuals into the fabric of society. The study found that U.S. born children left behind in a single parent household, ultimately face multi-levels of social exclusion. Hence, mandatory deportation negatively impacts children of deportees' social integration to mainstream society. Findings revealed that children of deportees experience tremendous sense of abandonment, insecurity, and isolation, which affect their educational attainment, socioeconomic status, social capital, and health mental status. In conclusion, social bulimic cannot co-exist with democracy because everyone is not fully included into mainstream society. What exists therefore, is an oligopoly democratic system that influences an oligarchy society in which a group of people--usually those in power--have control over the policy-making process and implementation with no accountability or assessment on collateral damages or the further social bulimization of children of deportees left behind in the United States.

  • Construction of a Forced-Choice Task for the Assessment of Factual Understanding and Feigning in Competency to Stand Trial Evaluations

    Author:
    Elizabeth Arias
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Psychology
    Advisor:
    Michele Galietta
    Abstract:

    Psychologists are commonly called upon to conduct evaluations of a defendant's competency to stand trial. Under Dusky v. United States (1960) the legal criteria for competency to stand trial were enumerated and since then, a number of standardized assessment instruments that aim to assess those criteria have been developed, each with its own noted strengths and weaknesses. Although there are several instruments available to aid clinicians in these types of evaluations, only three include screens for feigning, and only one assesses for feigned cognitive impairment. In the current research an instrument was constructed to assess for competence related knowledge, while also incorporating several logical and statistical methods to assess for a feigned lack of knowledge of the legal system, including forced-choice testing, floor effect strategies, and completion time methodologies. The Factual Understanding Instrument (FUI) was constructed over five studies. Studies 1-3 involved instrument construction and included a review of the literature, a critical incidents phase with experts in the field, and item construction. Studies 4-5 focused on item evaluation and included an expert review of the constructed items and the pilot testing of the FUI in a simulation study with unimpaired college students. In study 5, multiple statistical analyses were conducted to evaluate the FUI items and the various feigning detection strategies. In this sample reliability of the FUI was high. Items were relatively easy for honest responding participants, with many scoring near perfect. Feigning participants did not score as low as would be predicted by symptom validity testing, as responses varied from less than 50% correct to values seen in honest responders. Intelligence level, item difficulty, and response condition were found to be significant predictors in responses to FUI items. Completion time was not supported as a feigning detection method as hypothesized, however, alternative interpretations of the theory are offered. Further research on the FUI with a known-groups sample in forensic settings is needed to establish a floor value, to further evaluate item performance, and to improve the external validity of the current research. Research methodologies and future directions are offered.