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  • CRISIS, FORMULATION AND AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL INTIMACY IN 1950s AMERICA

    Author:
    Olga Aksakalova
    Year of Dissertation:
    2012
    Program:
    English
    Advisor:
    Nancy Miller
    Abstract:

    Crisis, Formulation, and Autobiographical Intimacy in 1950s America explores how critical circumstances of historical and personal significance can inspire and direct autobiographical production. I concentrate on Alfred Kazin's A Walker in the City (1951), Vladimir Nabokov's Speak, Memory (1967), and Robert Lowell's Life Studies (1959), three American autobiographies whose first or final versions were produced in the nineteen fifties, decade marked by a surge of autobiographical texts and genres in the United States and the emergence of autobiographical theory in France. Engaging with Robert Jay Lifton's theory of trauma, namely the concept of formulation, I investigate how the relationship between the self and the world is fostered in the wake of a crisis as reflected in autobiographical performance unfolding through drafting, meta-writing, revision, publication, and republication. As I trace the evolution of the texts, I find each author's persistent attempt to forge a connection to the multiple relational others, including the reader, implicated in the autobiographical act. I argue that the prospect and process of gaining this connection - at once troubling and rewarding - tend to stimulate writing and facilitate revision as the writers cross the threshold from the pre-war to the post-war world and grapple with the shifts occurring in their private lives. In the course of writing and re-writing their autobiographies, Kazin, Nabokov, and Lowell develop a special kind of closeness with their relational others that arises from the interrelated acts of identification, projection, and narration. Looking at autobiographical process (revision, textual versioning) rather than merely product (final text), I illustrate how these acts are enhanced, qualified, or reversed as they are repeated. They produce autobiographical intimacy: forged by various forms of interaction(s), it is a virtual space whereby participants of the autobiographical act foster communication, reciprocity, and potentially trust - productively or otherwise.

  • The Music and Multiple Identities of Kurdish Alevis from Turkey in Germany

    Author:
    Ozan Aksoy
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Music
    Advisor:
    Stephen Blum
    Abstract:

    This dissertation investigates the experiences of Kurdish Alevis, currently living in Germany, who trace their background to locations within the boundaries of the Republic of Turkey. I argue that music has been a particularly important mode through which Kurdish Alevis in Germany have articulated collective histories and have fashioned narratives of belonging and multiple and sometimes contradictory identities. The subjects of my research are immigrants and refugees who are ethnically Kurdish and whose religion is Alevi, an Anatolian religion whose relations to both Sunni and Shi'a Islam are historically controversial. They speak Turkish along with Kurdish, in most cases are Turkish and German citizens living in and around Cologne, Germany, and have family members in Istanbul, Turkey. Kurdish Alevis struggled against being labeled with certain identities, such as Turkish and Muslim within the larger immigrant pool from Turkey. At the same time, many of them have striven for their collective identities, namely Kurdish and Alevi, primarily in the last two decades. Music has been an integral part of their efforts. I argue that, in the last two decades, a new transnational field has emerged for Kurdish Alevi immigrants and refugees in Germany and by extension in Turkey, opening spaces for realignment around various and fluctuating loyalties with respect to ethnic, political, and social modes of belonging. This work is an investigation of the music of this ethno-religious double minority group in their second and third homelands.

  • Corruptions, Imitations, and Innovations: Tropes of Ibn Taymiyya's Polemics

    Author:
    Faris Al Ahmad
    Year of Dissertation:
    2015
    Program:
    Middle Eastern Studies
    Advisor:
    Anna Akasoy
    Abstract:

    Most of the Mamluk theologian Taqī al-Dīn Ahmad ibn Taymiyya's opinions had a polemical nature. This paper traces certain common tropes of Ibn Taymiyya's polemics such as tahrīf (corruption), taqlīd (imitation), and bid`a (innovation) that he repeatedly used in some of his judgments that targeted Christians, Jews, Sufis, mutakallimūn, philosophers, and Nusayris. The paper argues that what connects all of these groups in Ibn Taymiyya's polemics is the tropes of corruption, imitation, and innovation that he identified in their thought and practice. When investigating Ibn Taymiyya's polemics within the broader array of religious polemics, a consideration of his commentaries on different groups is important. The fact is that Ibn Taymiyya does not target a religious or intellectual group per se. He targets certain "corrupted or innovated" ideas and practices done by certain groups and being blindly "imitated" by other groups. He does not tolerate any mistakes in theology as a result of the imperfect human intellect not only by the followers of other religions, but also by Muslims. In his judgment strategies, Ibn Taymiyya referred to Muslim, Christian, and Jewish scriptures as well as analytical methods of reason and logic. Nonetheless, he is convinced that Revelation should always take precedent over any human intellect methods in evaluating theology; otherwise, we will corrupt theology.

  • The People Behind the Presidential Bully Pulpit

    Author:
    Kara Alaimo
    Year of Dissertation:
    2015
    Program:
    Political Science
    Advisor:
    Stanley Renshon
    Abstract:

    "The People Behind the Presidential Bully Pulpit" argues that civil servants best serve the interests of both the President of the United States and the American people as public affairs officers in the Department of the Treasury. Using interviews conducted with political appointees who served as Treasury spokespeople during the administrations of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, civil servants who served in public affairs for the Treasury, and Treasury reporters who interacted frequently with the government officials, the study finds that civil servants better advance the goals of the President in the press than the political appointees personally selected by the President. This is the case because civil servants have greater knowledge of the policies they advocate and because reporters apply greater skepticism to the arguments of political appointees because reporters assume that appointees are always attempting to advance political agendas - a phenomenon this study calls the "appointee discount." While scholars have previously argued that presidents accept the lower competence of appointees in order to attain their greater loyalty, this study suggests that no such tradeoff exists. It finds that political appointees and civil servants leak information to the press that does not serve the interests of the President with roughly the same frequency. The study also finds that civil servants better serve the interests of the American people in such roles. The study finds that neither political appointees nor civil servants in the Treasury's public affairs department are conducting the "permanent campaign" to build support for the President that White House aides have been accused of practicing, by governing based upon public opinion polls and appealing to the emotions, as opposed to the reason, of the American people. However, political appointees are significantly more likely to withhold information requested by reporters than civil servants.

  • Acculturation of children of Bangladeshi immigrants in New York City: Intergenerational perspectives and alternative trajectories

    Author:
    Mohammed Alam
    Year of Dissertation:
    2009
    Program:
    Social Welfare
    Advisor:
    Harriet Goodman
    Abstract:

    This study explores the acculturation experiences of thirty-three Bangladeshi second generation youths in New York City through in depth interviews. The researcher has observed and recorded interactions between youths and parents in the natural setting of their homes. The findings of this qualitative study, conducted in the tradition of grounded theory, are presented in four analytic categories: crossroads of acculturation dividing immigrant parents and children; gendered socialization of Bangladeshi children in traditional patriarchal families; influence of New York City on acculturation of these children; and their ethnic self-identity trajectories and repertoires. These frameworks reveal how intentionality and secondary socialization impinge on intergenerational cultural continuity to transform new New Yorkers; unlike their parents, the children renounce ethnocentricity, native country affiliation, and patriarchal value system. Bangladeshi immigrant parents contribute to the city's increasing diversity by remaking the city through burgeoning ethnic enclaves, in which they hold fast to cultural traditions. In contrast, their children remake the city and the city remakes them. They embrace a plurality of perspectives and the values of an egalitarian society. Because all the young informants are New Yorkers, their acculturation experiences are shaped in a diverse and multi-ethnic setting. They contextualized these experiences in comparison with actual and potential second generation immigrant experiences in "the mid-west" or upstate New York, isolated from a vibrant ethnic enclave and multi-cultural community. The study has also developed mid-level theories: immigrant children's acculturation is attributed to push-pull factors, shift from primary to secondary socialization, and intentionality compared with parents. Bangladeshi girls question gendered socialization and reject their parent's role in contracting arranged marriages more so than the boys. They benefit from the protection of stringent parental oversight, while boys' freedoms lead, in some instances, to antisocial behavior. In addition, the length of children's self-identity trajectories is matched by the level of complexity in their identity repertoires. A key implication for social work practice is that Bangladeshi parents reject services from members of their own community because they do not want exposure of parent-child conflicts within the ethnic enclave. Community-based services are unlikely to benefit families who need to resolve intergenerational discord.

  • Studies in Volatility

    Author:
    Nazli Alan
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Business
    Advisor:
    Robert Schwartz
    Abstract:

    This dissertation consists of five chapters that focus on the price discovery role of equity markets and examine the evolution of intraday stock price volatility as a key measure of market quality. Using six differentiated measures of intraday volatility (that mostly focus on the opening half-hour of trading), all common stocks listed at three stock exchanges with varying levels of fragmentation are analyzed: NYSE and NASDAQ stocks over the period 1993-2012, and Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE) stocks over the period 2000-2011. The results on the evolution of intraday volatility presented in Chapters 2 and 3 indicate the following: In 1993, opening period volatility for NYSE listed stocks was considerably lower than it was for NASDAQ stocks. Over the years that followed, NASDAQ's opening volatility fluctuated widely, but has exhibited neither an upward nor a downward trend. For the NYSE, on the other hand, opening volatility has risen appreciably; now, and in recent years, its pattern closely matches that of NASDAQ. ISE listed stocks exhibited much higher intraday volatility at the beginning of the sample period (in 2000), but it decreased over the next twelve years. Recognizing the differences in the evolution of fragmentation in these three markets, Chapter 4 presents an analysis of the relation between stock-level fragmentation and the corresponding intraday volatility for the U.S. stocks. The chapter documents a positive and persistent relationship between fragmentation and opening period volatility. In light of the results presented in this dissertation, it is important for market participants to recognize the complexities of the price discovery process in the marketplace and to target on developing more efficient trading mechanisms that will improve the quality of prices. These improvements will benefit the participants in a market as well as the broader economy that they constitute.

  • SCHEDULING AND RESOURCE ALLOCATION IN WIRELESS SENSOR NETWORKS

    Author:
    Yosef Alayev
    Year of Dissertation:
    2014
    Program:
    Computer Science
    Advisor:
    Amotz Bar-Noy
    Abstract:

    In computer science and telecommunications, wireless sensor networks are an active research area. Each sensor in a wireless sensor network has some pre-defined or on demand tasks such as collecting or disseminating data. Network resources, such as broadcast channels, number of sensors, power, battery life, etc., are limited. Hence, a schedule is required to optimally allocate network resources so as to maximize some profit or minimize some cost. This thesis focuses on scheduling problems in the wireless sensor networks environment. In particular, we study three scheduling problems in the wireless sensor networks: broadcast scheduling, sensor scheduling for area monitoring, and content distribution scheduling. For each problem the goal is to find efficient scheduling algorithms that have good approximation guarantees and perform well in practice.

  • De la península ibérica a Italia: concepción y práctica teatral de las primeras comedias castellanas

    Author:
    Marta Albala Pelegrin
    Year of Dissertation:
    2013
    Program:
    Hispanic & Luso Brazilian Literatures & Languages
    Advisor:
    Ottavio Di Camillo
    Abstract:

    In my dissertation, De la península Ibérica a Italia: concepción y práctica teatral de las primeras comedias castellanas, I analyze the formation of early modern Spanish comedia, in the context of Italo-Iberian cultural exchanges. My aim is to incorporate the most popular Spanish plays of the first half of the sixteenth century into the larger scenario in which they belong: one that we could name the "formation of the genre of comedy". Works such as Juan del Encina's Eclogues, La Celestina (The Spanish Bawd), and Torres Naharro's Tinellaria and Soldadesca are seen in this light as milestones in a complex thread of contributions leading to the development in the seventeenth century of a Spanish Golden Age "national theater", and specifically in Lope de Vega comedia nueva, as well as to the Italian commedia erudita. Such a reconstruction has long been neglected due to the constitution of the Hispanic and the Italian literary studies, and the asymmetry between the Spanish and the Italian literary traditions, especially regarding the primacy of Italian "comedies" and "authors" in the constitution of a history of "western comedy". The formation of the genre of comedy it is seen in a new light within a textual and bibliographical history, grounded in the relationships among authors, printers, and readers. Cultural and merchant networks established between the Iberian and Italian Peninsulas helped to widespread not only books as commodities, but ideas and forms (genres) contained within them that would appeal to new audiences and readers. In my second chapter, I have reconstructed the possible ways in which these plays could have been represented, in contexts such as Alba de Tormes and Rome, by means of the analysis of internal text evidence (prompts, or configuration of the different scenes) and the extant records, both about its actual performances, and other contemporary spectacles. In order to make sense of the scarce available data, I have delved into architectural treatises (Vitruvio, Alberti, Peruzzi, Serlio), woodcuts, and extant Roman documents on contemporary theatrical performances. As a result of this reconstruction, Encina's latest plays, as well as Naharro's Soldadesca and Tinellaria, appear as deeply rooted in the avant-garde conception of the urban Roman scene, they share both techniques, and scene conceptions with avant-garde Italian authors. In my third chapter, I studied the function that comedies, such as Naharro's Tinellaria and Soldadesca, had at the time, insisting on the religious and political denunciations contained in them, as well as in their relationship with some discourses originating in the Lateran council. As a result of that, I have been able to delimit the circles, critical with the papacy of Julius II, in which these ideas originated, together with the political interests of those that voiced them.

  • A Critical and Cultural Poetics of the End: Self, Space, and Volatility in Los Angeles

    Author:
    Pamela Albanese
    Year of Dissertation:
    2010
    Program:
    Comparative Literature
    Advisor:
    Ammiel Alcalay
    Abstract:

    A Critical and Cultural Poetics of the End: Self, Space, and Volatility in Los Angeles delineates the correspondences between Los Angeles spaces--exterior, topographical, architectural, and imaginary--and aspects of the self--interiority, identity, experience, and desire--in fictional and non-fictional depictions of Los Angeles. Through close readings of key Los Angeles novels, essays, and films, this project emphasizes how the narrative "I" traverses urban space, focusing on the dissolution of boundaries between self and place. Los Angeles' sprawling, decentralized layout and rapidly-shifting landscape have a profound influence on narrative identity, generating a volatile and disquieting sense of self; this project also explores how the city's unique spatial orientation contributes to a literature and cinema of disillusionment exclusive to Los Angeles.

  • /n/:/r/ Correspondences in Albanian Dialects: Understanding the n>r Sound Change

    Author:
    Katie Albany
    Year of Dissertation:
    2015
    Program:
    Linguistics
    Advisor:
    Juliette Blevins
    Abstract:

    The Albanian language is an Indo-European language that constitutes a separate branch in the Indo-European language family. There are two major dialects, Geg and Tosk, spoken in present day Albania that are mutually intelligible. There are morpho-syntactic differences between the two dialects and shared words provide evidence for a number of sound changes applying in certain contexts in Tosk. The focus of this paper is n > r sound change in Tosk applying to the nasal /n/ in an intervocalic position followed by an unstressed vowel. The lenition rule has been prolific diachronically, but stopped applying some time between the 13th and the 15th centuries, or after the Turkish occupation of Albania. Turkish loanwords that have resisted the n >r sound change in Tosk provide ample evidence for this. More recent loanwords confirm this finding. Keywords: lenition, sound change, fortition, syncope, apocope, loanwords, intervocalic, unstressed