Alumni Dissertations

 

Alumni Dissertations

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  • A SPIRIT OF THE EARTH: VITALISM IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY LITERATURE

    Author:
    Anastassiya Andrianova
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Comparative Literature
    Advisor:
    Felicia Bonaparte
    Abstract:

    A Spirit of the Earth: Vitalism in Nineteenth-Century Literature studies a movement that began in reaction to Mechanism, the view that all natural phenomena, including life, could be explained by observable physical causes. Due to its emphasis on material causation, Mechanism is interchangeable with empiricism, which holds that knowledge is based on experience and regular observation, and, by extension, with the Positivist application of the scientific method outside the natural world. Unlike the Mechanists, Vitalist scientists insisted that there was more to life than physico-chemical processes; life demanded a special cause: what Henri Bergson called the élan vital and Bernard Shaw--"the Life Force." What started in science acquired much broader philosophical ramifications. Vitalism became the sole source of hope for writers, philosophers, and artists committed to deeper questions of being who found it morally objectionable to turn to empiricism and mechanistic science for answers. Mechanism was objectionable on several counts. It emphasized the external over the internal, and framed our connection to the world as that of a subject observing a dead nature. Second, it denied human and artistic freedom, reducing agency to reflex action. Third, it denied existence any higher purpose: Charles Darwin, in Samuel Butler's famous accusation, banished Mind from the universe and replaced it with random selection, thereby raising ethical and existential questions. The nineteenth-century authors examined in this dissertation (George Meredith, Leo Tolstoy, Butler, and Shaw) did not reject science altogether and were drawn to contemporary evolutionary theories; seeing nature as a living being, they reinvented science and gave evolution a purpose, claiming that we could reconnect with nature through instinct, not reason, and becoming part of this organism, come to know it as well as ourselves. As a philosophy, Vitalism allowed them to expose everything unnatural: from abstract theories to outdated social institutions; as an aesthetic, it gave them an imagistic language to embody what Walter Pater called the "spirit of the Earth" in women, children, and child-like individuals. Each chapter reflects a separate area of Vitalist critique: the philosophy of science; poetry; the spiritual quest; Victorian education; and social evolution.

  • A SPIRIT OF THE EARTH: VITALISM IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY LITERATURE

    Author:
    Anastassiya Andrianova
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Comparative Literature
    Advisor:
    Felicia Bonaparte
    Abstract:

    A Spirit of the Earth: Vitalism in Nineteenth-Century Literature studies a movement that began in reaction to Mechanism, the view that all natural phenomena, including life, could be explained by observable physical causes. Due to its emphasis on material causation, Mechanism is interchangeable with empiricism, which holds that knowledge is based on experience and regular observation, and, by extension, with the Positivist application of the scientific method outside the natural world. Unlike the Mechanists, Vitalist scientists insisted that there was more to life than physico-chemical processes; life demanded a special cause: what Henri Bergson called the élan vital and Bernard Shaw--"the Life Force." What started in science acquired much broader philosophical ramifications. Vitalism became the sole source of hope for writers, philosophers, and artists committed to deeper questions of being who found it morally objectionable to turn to empiricism and mechanistic science for answers. Mechanism was objectionable on several counts. It emphasized the external over the internal, and framed our connection to the world as that of a subject observing a dead nature. Second, it denied human and artistic freedom, reducing agency to reflex action. Third, it denied existence any higher purpose: Charles Darwin, in Samuel Butler's famous accusation, banished Mind from the universe and replaced it with random selection, thereby raising ethical and existential questions. The nineteenth-century authors examined in this dissertation (George Meredith, Leo Tolstoy, Butler, and Shaw) did not reject science altogether and were drawn to contemporary evolutionary theories; seeing nature as a living being, they reinvented science and gave evolution a purpose, claiming that we could reconnect with nature through instinct, not reason, and becoming part of this organism, come to know it as well as ourselves. As a philosophy, Vitalism allowed them to expose everything unnatural: from abstract theories to outdated social institutions; as an aesthetic, it gave them an imagistic language to embody what Walter Pater called the "spirit of the Earth" in women, children, and child-like individuals. Each chapter reflects a separate area of Vitalist critique: the philosophy of science; poetry; the spiritual quest; Victorian education; and social evolution.

  • DISSOCIATION AND POTENTIAL SPACE ON THE RORSCHACH AS PREDICTORS OF CONCURRENT PTSD AND SUBSTANCE DEPENDENCE TREATMENT OUTCOMES

    Author:
    Stephen Anen
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Psychology
    Advisor:
    Denise Hien
    Abstract:

    Both posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders (SUD) are ongoing public health crises. Dissociative experiences are considered core processes within both of these conditions (van der Kolk & van der Hart, 1989; Briere & Runtz, 1987; Schafer et al., 2010). Dissociation, which involves the compartmentalization of psychic experience, also exerts a significant influence over psychotherapies that aim to address both PTSD and SUD (Davidson & Foa, 1991; Spitzer, Barnow, Freyberger, & Grabe, 2007). However, dissociation is a wide concept that encompasses several perceptual, cognitive, affective, memory, and self-state processes (Bernstein & Putnam, 1986; Briere, Weathers, & Runtz, 2005). Through separate self-reports and projective measures that operationalize dissociation in distinct ways, this study investigated the quality and intensity of dissociative experiences in a sample of treatment-seeking individuals with comorbid PTSD and SUD. Additionally, this dissertation explored whether these measures of dissociation had significant relationships with treatment outcome. Results: Cross-sectional correlation analysis identified convergence between certain measures of dissociation, but not others. Within hierarchical regression analysis, specific subscales of dissociation demonstrated discrepant relationships with response-to-treatment variables. Altogether, this study further evidenced the multidimensional nature of dissociative processes and, subsequently, the value of multi-method assessment. In addition, separate types of dissociation appeared to differentially influence treatment, indicating a pathway through which to improve customization of treatment planning.

  • Model Favela: Youth and Second Nature in Rio de Janeiro

    Author:
    Alessandro Angelini
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Anthropology
    Advisor:
    David Harvey
    Abstract:

    This ethnographic study of the conflicting social lives of representations of the city centers around the creators of a 4,000-square-foot three-dimensional mockup of Rio constructed with painted bricks, mortar, and detritus. For over fifteen years, teenage boys have enacted a role-playing game within this miniature urban world known as Morrinho, or "Little Hill," on the forested edge of their hillside squatter settlement, or favela. By manipulating and ventriloquizing thousands of inch-tall figurines representing residents, drug lords, police, DJs, politicians, prostitutes--a panoply of social figures--they produce a subversive and ludic perspective on urban reality. The game occupies the same physical ground as competing models: since Morrinho's inception, Rio's elite military police battalion have used the community that gave rise to Morrinho as a "live" training ground, and the municipal urban development agencies have implemented a patchwork of engineering projects and social programs aimed at incorporating this favela into formal property markets. These state initiatives hinge on rendering space and people legible to modes of rule through the use of maps, statistics, and tactical knowledge. Amid these changes in infrastructure and security, Morrinho has become valorized as an alternative form of knowing the city. Its creators have traveled internationally as artists, building replicas of their model in collaboration with youth in new urban contexts. Participants define Morrinho as a space of autonomous reflection on the city, and the mimetic relationship of their form of play to systems of power and the production of space does not reproduce these processes as a copy, but rather stages it on its own terms. This dissertation thus argues that maps, models, and narratives do not simply describe an external reality but actively participate in remaking the spaces of the city.

  • POLITICAL INTEGRATION OF TURKS IN THE U.S. AND THE NETHERLANDS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE ROLE OF TURKISH IMMIGRANT ORGANIZATIONS

    Author:
    Isil Anil
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    John Mollenkopf
    Abstract:

    This study provides a comparative analysis of political integration by Turkish immigrant organizations in metropolitan New York and Amsterdam. It is based on extensive fieldwork and numerous interviews in the two cities. Over the years, Turks have created a large and diverse network of organizations in both cities, the development of which was shaped by the changing political opportunity structures (POS) in their host countries as well as by political and institutional networks retained with Turkey. Using a political claims analysis method, this study finds that Turkish organizations in Amsterdam have been more politically active over the years than those in New York. Turkish organizations in Amsterdam have made claims on a wider variety of issues and undertaken more diversified types of activities than those in New York. This pattern results from a combination of factors. Differing POS, which include the legal and political institutional frameworks of the host country, alone are not sufficient to explain the different outcomes. This approach is too structurally determinant an argument. In contrast to prevailing approaches in the literature, a satisfactory analysis must also take into account the repertoire of actions developed by the Turkish communities of these two cities as well as choices made by their leadership. The number, mobilization capacity, organizational principles, mission, connectedness, and functional types of immigrant organizations are all as important as the opportunities made available - or foreclosed - by the local political setting. Lastly, this study argues that transnational ties with the homeland have served as crucial resources (political, material), have motivated political activism, and have enhanced connectedness between Turkish groups in both cities. It finds that Turkish organizations can and should be considered important actors in the political arena, advocating immigrants' interests and at times influencing public policy.

  • Gold and Zinc Oxide Nanoparticle Coated Peptide Nanotubes Fabrication and Their Electrical Transport Properties Study

    Author:
    Luona Anjia
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    Chemistry
    Advisor:
    Hiroshi Matsui
    Abstract:

    There is a growing interest in attempts in using biomolecular as the 1D nanotube templates to grow inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) in controlled morphology and structure. One of the research motivations for this combination is to take advantage of the catalytic activity for the room-temperature material growth and the ability of self-assembly into controlled structures on a large scale. One approach to fabricate such nanotube is by using a glycine-based peptide nanotube as template, and on template sidewall immobilizing biomineralizing peptide, which can selectively bind to the target metal/semiconductor precursor and mediate the formation of the inorganic material on templates incorporating these peptides. By optimizing the experiment conditions, we successfully fabricated high yield of nanotubes with full coverage of high-density monodispersed Au and ZnO NPs coating. Using drop casting technique, we built electronic device with these nanotubes and found very interesting electrical transport properties: the temperature-dependent current-voltage characteristic of Au NPs nanotube; and the negative differential resistance property (current decreases with increasing bias voltage) of ZnO NPs coated nanotube. These results are of great impact on the future development of bio-nanoelectronic devices. Besides, a new biomimetic approach for one-pod synthesis of ZnO nanotube at neutral pH and room temperature is introduced; by self-assembling peptides which possess the catalytic mineralization function for the specific oxide metal, ZnO nanotube can be grown as the peptides are simultaneously assembled into a rod structure and template ZnO growth in gels formed by the peptides and Zn precursors. Traditionally, biomineralizing peptides are coated on 1D templates and then grow ZnO at room temperature, however this new method allows one to grow ZnO nanotubes in one step without using 1D templates since the Zn-mineralizing peptide itself can be assembled into the 1D structure.

  • The Actor and the Playwright: Adaptation on the Early Eighteenth-Century, English Stage

    Author:
    Ellen Anthony-Moore
    Year of Dissertation:
    2011
    Program:
    Theatre
    Advisor:
    Judith Milhous
    Abstract:

    Abstract The Actor and the Playwright: Play Adaptation on the Early Eighteenth-Century, English Stage By Ellen Anthony-Moore Advisor: Prof. Judith Milhous This dissertation examines the ways in which classical, neoclassical and Renaissance plays were adapted and staged on the early eighteenth-century, London stage. The plays that became box office successes were generally the ones that best displayed the talents and attributes of popular performers. By understanding the lives and careers of the greatest actors of this generation, and their role in the commercial theatre, we can better understand why the now canonized plays of ancient Greece, France, or the Elizabethan period were modified in ways that most modern scholars find puzzling. By the beginning of the eighteenth century in England, actors and actresses were becoming public personalities in an unprecedented way. From the time of Thomas Betterton's death in 1709, to the end of the triumvirate management of Drury Lane by Colley Cibber, Robert Wilks and Barton Booth in 1727, there were a handful of actors who can lay claim to being the most well known and respected performers of this generation. In chapter one, I outline what is known about eighteenth-century acting methods and techniques as well as the lines of certain key actors. Chapters two and three explore the genres of tragedy and historical tragedy, emphasizing the importance of the celebrity actress and the recent vogue for she-tragedy. Chapter four is centrally concerned with trends in comedy and farce and the preoccupation with the misadventures of young rakes, fops, cheats and the like. This dissertation ultimately concludes that by looking at the way contemporary authors adapted the most prominent playwrights of previous generations, we can better understand the theatre of the eighteenth-century. Ultimately, the process of play adaptation was one that was highly influenced by the demands of a commercial, celebrity centered theatre rather than by literary ideals or political ideology.

  • Forms of Generic Common Knowledge

    Author:
    Evangelia Antonakos
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Mathematics
    Advisor:
    Sergei Artemov
    Abstract:

    In multi-agent epistemic logics, common knowledge has been a central consideration of study. A generic common knowledge (G.C.K.) system is one that yields iterated knowledge I(φ): ‘any agent knows that any agent knows that any agent knows…φ’ for any number of iterations. Generic common knowledge yields iterated knowledge, G.C.K.(φ)→I(φ), but is not necessarily logically equivalent to it. This contrasts with the most prevalent formulation of common knowledge C as equivalent to iterated knowledge. A spectrum of systems may satisfy the G.C.K. condition, of which C is just one. It has been shown that in the usual epistemic scenarios, G.C.K. can replace conventional common knowledge and Artemov has noted that such standard sources of common knowledge as public announcements of atomic sentences generally yield G.C.K. rather than C.

    In this dissertation we study mathematical properties of generic common knowledge and compare them to the traditional common knowledge notion. In particular, we contrast the modal G.C.K. logics of McCarthy (e.g. M4) and Artemov (e.g. S4nJ) with C-systems (e.g. S4nC) and present a joint C/G.C.K. implicit knowledge logic S4nCJ as a conservative extension of both. We show that in standard epistemic scenarios in which common knowledge of certain premises is assumed, whose conclusion does not concern common knowledge (such as Muddy Children, Wise Men, Unfaithful Wives, etc.), a lighter G.C.K. can be used instead of the traditional, more complicated, common knowledge. We then present the first fully explicit G.C.K. system LPn(LP). This justification logic realizes the corresponding modal system S4nJ so that G.C.K., along with individual knowledge modalities, can always be made explicit.

  • 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.

  • 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.