Alumni Dissertations and Theses

 
 

Alumni Dissertations and Theses

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  • DIASPORA AS DEVELOPMENT ACTORS: A SOURCE OF HUMAN AND SOCIAL CAPITAL FOR LOCAL DEVELOPMENT IN TURKEY

    Author:
    Meryem Ataselim
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    Irving Markovitz
    Abstract:

    This dissertation provides an analysis of Turkish-American diaspora philanthropy - done through social and human capital transfers - and its role in impacting local development in Turkey. The study offers the consideration of a new kind of diaspora philanthropy, namely innovative philanthropy, which channels ideas, skills and experiences that have the potential to impact social change in local communities through social and human capital transfers. The dissertation presents and analyzes two cases that have been supported by the Turkish-American diaspora. Case studies show that even though diaspora philanthropy towards Turkey is still relatively new and small in financial terms, there are members of the diaspora who make a difference in their local communities beyond what any other international actor can develop. Study highlights the impact of these diaspora members, whose philanthropic contributions are a combination of motivation, and persistence; and uses the term "diaspora champions" to define them. These diaspora champions connect back home not just by sending money but sharing the experiences and skills they gained in the United States and tapping into their personalized networks. The study depicts the social process of these philanthropic transfers with a particular emphasis on the roles of social and human capital transfers. The study finds that diaspora champions have been instrumental in 1) the emergence of local civic leaders; 2) the launch and initiation of local social initiatives; and 3) the expansion of these social initiatives beyond local regions. Accordingly, this research suggests that philanthropy done by diaspora champions through social and human capital has an important role to play in creating a new paradigm for local development, as it offers some powerful insights.

  • Postmodern Metafiction Revisited

    Author:
    Lissi Athanasiou Krikelis
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Comparative Literature
    Advisor:
    Mary Caws
    Abstract:

    By its ostensible definition, metafiction is fiction that dramatizes its own construction, proffering constant reminders of its artificiality. The term "metafiction," however, is hardly transparent. "Metafiction" is in danger of having an array of definitions, and, because it is believed to be equated with postmodern fiction, it is often associated with the literature of the eighties and therefore appears outdated. Through an examination of various novels mainly from the twentieth century and literature of the West, this dissertation unifies the multiple definitions that have been assigned to the term and provides a typology that facilitates the identification of the metafictional novel. In addition, this dissertation revisits certain assumptions that have clung to the term arbitrarily, namely that metafiction is ahistorical and apolitical because it is self-referential. Beginning with a theoretical approach that views metafiction as a postmodern phenomenon borrowing from structural and post-structural thought, this study comparatively explores metafiction's most recent manifestations and concludes by questioning metafiction's affinity to postmodernism. Moreover, this study identifies and explores two new examples of metafiction, the metaautobiographical novel and the post-millenium metafictional novel. The metaautobiographical novel is a hybrid genre, where a fictional author-character reconstructs their biographical record through the act of writing fiction. For a metaautobiographical protagonist, fiction cannot define the self nor write the past, but is bound to reinvent both, thus turning itself into a what-if version of the protagonist's reality. In the wake of conversations that explore the potential death of postmodernity, post-millennium (or post-technological) metafiction can be contrasted to postmodern metafiction. It deviates from postmodern practices by responding to technology and by combining its astute fictionality with the dramatic realization that fictionality and reality converge in the realm of fiction. Whereas postmodern metafiction projects that the world may be a fictional construction, post-millenium metafiction proclaims that even highly self-reflexive texts share a profound relation with the world, influencing and affecting what lies beyond them.

  • Essays On The Information Flow From Option Markets To Stock Markets

    Author:
    Yigit Atilgan
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Business
    Advisor:
    Turan Bali
    Abstract:

    Informed traders might prefer the option markets over stock markets due to advantages offered by option trading such as reduced transaction costs, enhanced opportunities for taking short positions and higher leverage. The first chapter of this dissertation provides a brief review of the empirical and theoretical literatures related to this question. The second chapter investigates the intertemporal relation between volatility spreads and expected market returns. If informed traders who prefer to trade in the option markets demand more put (call) options before negative (positive) price movements due to their private information, then one would expect to see a significantly negative intertemporal relation between put minus call implied volatility spreads and aggregate returns. The results indicate that volatility spreads are significantly and negatively related to expected market returns after controlling for conditional variance and macroeconomic variables that proxy for the changes in future investment opportunities. Since the volatility spreads may also proxy for skewness, direct physical and risk-neutral skewness measures are constructed and the results indicate that there is no significant relation between various measures of skewness and expected market returns. The predictive ability of volatility spreads is stronger when consumer sentiment index is unusually high or low. The third chapter brings a more thorough look into the predictive ability of deviations from put-call parity on stock returns. If the trading activity of informed investors is an important driver of deviations from put-call parity, then the predictability of stock returns should be more pronounced during major information events such as earnings announcements. These deviations are measured by the implied volatility spreads between pairs of matched put and call options. During a two-day earnings announcement window, the abnormal returns to a portfolio that buys stocks with relatively expensive call options is about 2 percent greater than the abnormal returns to a portfolio that buys stocks with relatively expensive put options. The informational role of option markets is further supported by the findings that the degree of announcement return predictability is stronger when deviations from put-call parity are measured using more liquid options, information environment is more asymmetric and stock liquidity is low.

  • Public Market to La Marqueta: Shaping Spaces and Subjects of Food Distribution in New York City, 1930-2012

    Author:
    Anne Babette Audant
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Earth & Environmental Sciences
    Advisor:
    Setha Low
    Abstract:

    From Public Market to La Marqueta: Shaping Spaces and Subjects of Food Distribution in New York City, 1930 to 2012 by Anne Babette Audant Advisor: Setha M. Low Public markets are definitive parts of the urban landscape. Policies shaping municipal food provisioning, including public markets, produce and reproduce differentiated subjects and unevenly developed spaces. Social science has not paid sustained attention to public food markets; this research contributes to a fragmented and multi-perspective body of work that demonstrates the many ways in which markets intersect with urban processes. I look at the geographic distribution of food in and through New York City's public markets from 1930 to the present by mapping intersections of politics, citizens, consumers, social class, gender, ethnicity, race, government, capital, and the retailing landscape. Tracing these processes over more than a century, this study demonstrates that food distribution is a dynamic and highly contested aspect of urban life, underscoring a deep if sometimes under-articulated recognition of the work done by the flow of food through city streets. Focused on New York City's public markets, particularly the enclosed retail markets built in the late 1930s and early 1940s to contain New York City's pushcarts and street peddlers, this study explores how the immigrant working classes became the objects of municipal food policy. Food habits became a means through which to Americanize - and civilize - the masses. Along with their bodies, their food landscapes became the targets of state intervention. Working class neighborhoods were - and are - vulnerable to state interventions that too often further alienate already disempowered populations. Food policy has the potential to advance social justice. In New York City, we are witnessing the emergence of a new municipal food policy, which, if implemented, will be the first comprehensive policy to be proposed since the Progressive Era. Aimed at reducing inequities and improving public health, and integrated with broad goals of environmental and economic sustainability, the proposals on the table point in promising directions.

  • INTERPERSONAL RHYTHMS DISRUPTED BY A HISTORY OF TRAUMA: AN IN-DEPTH CASE STUDY OF ANALYTICAL MUSIC THERAPY

    Author:
    Tanja Auf der Heyde
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Psychology
    Advisor:
    Steven Tuber
    Abstract:

    Abstract INTERPERSONAL RHYTHMS DISRUPTED BY A HISTORY OF TRAUMA: AN IN-DEPTH CASE STUDY OF ANALYTICAL MUSIC THERAPY by Tanja Maud Christine Auf der Heyde Advisor: Steven Tuber, Ph.D. This dissertation project is a phenomenological study of interpersonal rhythms within the music therapy treatment of a client with a history of cumulative trauma. An attempt was made to explore whether and how rhythmic interactions within musical improvisations facilitate the repair of ruptures in such rhythms. Towards this aim, the rhythmic interactions between the two participants were analyzed to find evidence for bi-directional rhythmic co-regulation and loose mid-range coordination. Furthermore, this study tracked shifts in the client's mental state by applying a moment-to-moment analysis of the music with four Improvisation Assessment Profiles (IAPs). It was found that musical improvisation allows for ample opportunities for bi-directional co-regulation and loose mid-range coordination. Most of the mental state ratings were within the "optimal arousal state," suggesting that music does, in fact, facilitate regulation on both intrapsychic and interpersonal levels. However, this study also uncovered the importance of spontaneous and planned disruptions in rhythmic interaction, which find their musical expression in syncopations, polyrhythms, and a-rhythmic sections. These experiences are deeply embedded in the body. Thus, they provide the opportunity not only for reconnecting with one's own rhythms, and for reconstructing a disrupted expectation system within an improvisation, but also for finding agency in the playful thwarting of expectations, and for exploring the continuum of separation and connectedness in a musical relationship. In this sense, music acts as a transitional phenomenon, creating an intermediate space between inner and outer worlds. In this "third" area of experiencing, both participants align with patterns that go beyond the sum of their contributions; when this state of flow is reached, one can feel that one is played by the music as much as one is playing it. The results of this study indicate that a close rhythmic analysis of improvised interactions can help music therapists to assess the client's level of trauma as well as to tailor interventions to move them out of the repetitious rhythms of hyper- and hypoarousal. For verbal psychotherapists and psychoanalysts, the implication is that rhythmically aware, embodied listening can open up new dimensions of transference and countertransference phenomena. To this end, clinicians should pay special attention to rhythmic shifts in affect, speech, and bodily gestures.

  • The Rat Bastard Protective Association: Bruce Conner and His San Francisco Cohort, 1958-1968

    Author:
    Anastasia Aukeman
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Art History
    Advisor:
    Anna Chave
    Abstract:

    This dissertation is a theoretical and historical account of the art-making activities of the Rat Bastard Protective Association, a small, close-knit community living and working in mid-century San Francisco. Assemblage was a common denominator within the group, which included Wallace Berman, Joan Brown, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, Wally Hedrick, and Manuel Neri, along with other, less constant members. The first book-length study devoted to the Rat Bastards, this project explores the political, social, and aesthetic concerns in their assemblages. It also reexamines the term assemblage, to take into account process and intent along with medium and technique. Allowing for this performative dimension impels a re-evaluation of these artists' works, its impact on subsequent developments, and its place among process-based practices in art since the 1950s.

  • Ethnicity in Hagiography: The Case of Darerca/Moninna/Modwenna/Modwenne in the British Isles, Seventh to Thirteenth Centuries

    Author:
    Diane Auslander
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    History
    Advisor:
    Thomas Head
    Abstract:

    Abstract ETHNICITY IN HAGIOGRAPHY: THE CASE OF DARERCA/MONINNA/MODWENNA/MONINNA IN THE BRITISH ISLES, SEVENTH TO THIRTEENTH CENTURIES By Diane Peters Auslander Adviser: Professor Thomas Head This is a contextual study of four related hagiographies written from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries in the British Isles. It is probable that there was a seventh-century original that is no longer extant much of which was retained in the tenth-century life. The saint herself is Irish and the earliest name we have for her is Darerca, but her name changes as the lives are rewritten. She is called Moninna in the eleventh-century life, Modwenna in the twelfth-century vita, and Modwenne in the thirteenth-century vie. Darerca is an Irish saint who lives and travels within Ireland and her Irishness is retained throughout these vitae. In the Life of St. Moninna, however, the saint's persona has been conflated with the legends of other saints of the British Isles, many of whom are difficult to identify with any certainty. Moninna's hagiographer includes her Irish journeys, but has her traveling to Scotland and England. In England, she is said to have founded Burton Abbey in the midlands, indicating that her name had become confused with that of a St. Modwenna whose relics were buried at Burton Abbey. In the early twelfth century, the abbot of Burton Abbey rewrote the Life of St. Moninna, retaining its Irish elements, but making it more relevant to an English audience. In c.1235, the text was reworked again at Burton in Anglo-Norman verse. The period during which these four lives were written was one of almost constant movement of peoples and mingling of ethnicities in the British Isles.. For some newcomers, such as the Vikings, the processes of resistance were succeeded by varying degrees of assimilation. After the Norman Conquest in 1066, however, there developed a virulent institutionalized ethnic hostility toward the Irish. Therefore this study examines these lives through the lens of ethnicity, ethnogenesis, assimilation, and bias.

  • Ethnicity in Hagiography: The Case of Darerca/Moninna/Modwenna/Modwenne in the British Isles, Seventh to Thirteenth Centuries

    Author:
    Diane Auslander
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    History
    Advisor:
    Thomas Head
    Abstract:

    Abstract ETHNICITY IN HAGIOGRAPHY: THE CASE OF DARERCA/MONINNA/MODWENNA/MONINNA IN THE BRITISH ISLES, SEVENTH TO THIRTEENTH CENTURIES By Diane Peters Auslander Adviser: Professor Thomas Head This is a contextual study of four related hagiographies written from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries in the British Isles. It is probable that there was a seventh-century original that is no longer extant much of which was retained in the tenth-century life. The saint herself is Irish and the earliest name we have for her is Darerca, but her name changes as the lives are rewritten. She is called Moninna in the eleventh-century life, Modwenna in the twelfth-century vita, and Modwenne in the thirteenth-century vie. Darerca is an Irish saint who lives and travels within Ireland and her Irishness is retained throughout these vitae. In the Life of St. Moninna, however, the saint's persona has been conflated with the legends of other saints of the British Isles, many of whom are difficult to identify with any certainty. Moninna's hagiographer includes her Irish journeys, but has her traveling to Scotland and England. In England, she is said to have founded Burton Abbey in the midlands, indicating that her name had become confused with that of a St. Modwenna whose relics were buried at Burton Abbey. In the early twelfth century, the abbot of Burton Abbey rewrote the Life of St. Moninna, retaining its Irish elements, but making it more relevant to an English audience. In c.1235, the text was reworked again at Burton in Anglo-Norman verse. The period during which these four lives were written was one of almost constant movement of peoples and mingling of ethnicities in the British Isles.. For some newcomers, such as the Vikings, the processes of resistance were succeeded by varying degrees of assimilation. After the Norman Conquest in 1066, however, there developed a virulent institutionalized ethnic hostility toward the Irish. Therefore this study examines these lives through the lens of ethnicity, ethnogenesis, assimilation, and bias.

  • EVALUATING THE INFLUENCE OF DAUBERT'S CROSS-EXAMINATION SAFEGUARD ON ATTORNEYS' AND JURORS' JUDGMENTS ABOUT SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE

    Author:
    Jacqueline Austin
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Psychology
    Advisor:
    Margaret Kovera
    Abstract:

    The Supreme Court's decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc clarified that federal trial judges were to serve as evidentiary gatekeepers for scientific evidence, evaluating scientific reliability when determining admissibility. When judges fail at gatekeeping and admit unreliable expert testimony, the Court expresses faith in the ability of cross-examination to reveal the reliability of testimony for jurors. For cross-examination to function as the Court intends, attorneys must recognize scientific flaws and craft cross-examination questions that expose scientific threats. Moreover, these scientifically informed cross-examinations must act as a form of scientific training for jurors. I conducted two studies to empirically examine the Court's assumptions regarding cross-examination. In Study One, 95 attorneys read a trial summary that contained expert testimony regarding an intelligence test. I varied the validity (presence v. absence of experimenter bias threat) and reliability (moderate v. high reliability indices on test-retest, inter-observer, and internal consistency scores) of the intelligence test. Attorneys provided lower ratings of scientific quality when the test was unreliable but did not craft cross-examination questions designed to expose the low reliability indices of the scientific test. Attorneys did not provide lower ratings of scientific quality when the intelligence test was invalid; however, a proportion of attorneys did craft cross-examination questions to expose the validity threat. In Study Two, I again varied the reliability and validity of the intelligence test and whether the cross-examination educated jurors about the study's flaws (scientifically informed vs. naïve). Either a judge or an attorney conducted the scientifically informed cross-examinations. Scientifically informed cross-examinations did not assist jurors with evaluating scientific reliability or validity. These studies suggest that cross-examinations may not function as a safeguard against flawed scientific evidence. Although some attorneys may be able to meet the Court's expectations, cross-examination may be an ineffective method of providing methodological training for jurors.

  • Perspective-taking Based Insights into Theory of Mind: An ERP Study

    Author:
    Elizabeth Axel
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Psychology
    Advisor:
    Ray Johnson, Jr.
    Abstract:

    Theory of Mind (ToM) is defined as the ability to make inferences about another person's mental state. One account of ToM, Simulation Theory, posits that this ability is accomplished by using one's own mental processes as a model for the other person's mind. This is accomplished in a serial manner by first accessing the processes related to the self before switching to taking the perspective of the other. Hemodynamic imaging studies of ToM have provided evidence that self and perspective-taking processes depend on different brain circuits but cannot identify the temporal aspects of the processes. To determine if these processes occur in the posited serial manner, event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded while participants made evaluations either from their own perspective or from the perspective of another person (i.e., Task: Evaluation, Perspective-taking). The relatedness of the person (target) of the evaluations (i.e., Relatedness: Self, Close Other, CO, Non-Close Other, NCO) was also varied to determine if the brain areas posited to be involved in the processing of the self would be activated differentially. Thus, a three-stage, serial process was hypothesized, suggesting that the perspective-taking process requires an initial anchoring in the self, a decoupling of different perspectives (i.e., self and other) and then a late stage in which the other's perspective is maintained in order to make a decision. The results showed that RTs were similar across conditions. Recordings from 83 scalp sites revealed differential patterns of activation as a function of both Task (Evaluation, Perspective-taking) and Relatedness (Self, CO, NCO). Consistent with the "serial hypothesis," the ERP results provided evidence of three temporally distinct stages during the decision process when the various evaluation and perspective-taking tasks were compared in the electrodes corresponding to TPJ. When Evaluation and Perspective-taking judgments were compared, a first stage (i.e., 200 - 350 ms) was found in which there were no ERP differences as a function of Task, in accord with the idea that perspective-taking processes require an initial grounding in the self. In contrast, during this first stage, effects were seen as a function of Relatedness in which judgments about Self were more negative-going than judgments of CO or NCO. A second stage (400 - 600 ms) became apparent in which the lack of ERP differences between Evaluation and Perspective-taking tasks continued but now the Relatedness effects disappeared. That is, during this middle stage, the ERP activity from all conditions was similar. As a result of its timing, being interposed between the early and late stages, this middle stage may reflect the hypothesized decoupling process (i.e., shift from self to other) that was posited to occur between the self and perspective-taking stages In the third stage (700 - 850 ms) the ERP activity elicited during perspective-taking differed from that in evaluation tasks due to the addition of a negative slow potential over the temporal-parietal junction (TPJ). Relatedness effects returned in this later stage, although in this time period judgments about the self elicited more positive-going ERPs than judgments of CO or NCO. In addition, the results revealed that self-referential evaluations were marked by greater ERP activity over occipital and mid-frontal scalp very early after stimulus onset (i.e., 70 - 360 ms). Increased activity at these locations has previously been shown to reflect the level of attention devoted to stimuli indicating that self-referential evaluation engendered the highest levels of overall attention. Finally, although not addressed in models of ToM processes, the results revealed that the differences in use of control processes varied as a function of both task and the object of the decision. Specifically, compared to evaluation tasks, perspective-taking tasks elicited a larger pre-response negativity (PRN), which has been linked to the use of goal-oriented, strategic monitoring processes. Moreover, within each of these tasks, there were graded effects on the relatedness dimension in which judgments about the self required the least strategic monitoring, followed by the close other, with non-close other requiring the most. In addition, the amplitude of the medial frontal negativity (MFN), which follows the response and has been shown to reflect the residual conflict following a response, also varied as a function of both task and the object of the decision. That is, perspective taking judgments elicited larger MFNs (i.e., greater residual conflict) than evaluations and judgments about the self elicited the smallest MFN with larger MFNs for close other judgments and the largest MFNs for non-close other judgments. In sum, the ERP results from scalp sites overlying the TPJ appear to confirm the role of that brain area in ToM. More important, it was shown that the activity there is not constant during the ToM judgments but rather follows three distinct stages. Hence this supports previous hypotheses stating that the perspective-taking process involves an initial anchoring in Self before a decoupling process begins, followed by the shift to the other's perspective and suggests that the TPJ plays a role in all three of these stages. Further, we extended previous hemodynamic results by showing that the executive processes related to strategic and tactical monitoring play an important role in ToM. Taken together, the results from the present study demonstrate the value of using the ERP as a tool for studying the nature and timing of the processes used when one engages in Theory of Mind operations.