Creating Confessional Narration

Caetlin will explore the evolution of narration in Confessional poetry in the United States during the 1950s-1960s, concentrating on such poets as Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath and Robert Lowell. Through extensive readings in poetry, criticism, and literary and psychoanalytic theory, as well as archival research on the poets mentioned above, Caetlin plans to analyze and relate two of the key influences on Confessional narration, Modernism (the preceding poetic tradition) and psychoanalysis. Psychoanalysis, she hypothesizes, gave direction to the Confessionalists resistance to Modernist impersonality and thus helped make new poetic subjects and ways of speaking possible. The comparison of these two opposing influences and the effects they had on Confessional poetry will compose Caetlins Comparative Literature Senior Honors Thesis.

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Transcending Language: Carme Riera and Post-Franco Catalan Literature

Casey will examine the situation of Catalan women writers in the first generation following the death of Franco through close literary analysis of author Carme Riera’s body of work and further study of her cultural reception in Spain as a feminist author using a minority language. The completed analysis will constitute her Senior Honors Thesis in the Comparative Literature major. Since little of Riera’s work has been translated into English, Casey will also translate several of her short stories to offer a sampling of Riera’s views and method to non-Catalan scholars. This summer, Casey will travel to Mallorca to study the Balearic dialect of Catalan that Riera uses in her work, and will conduct archival research on Riera in Barcelona at the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya.

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L'Enfer en Soie

Sylvan will compose a symphonic poem in two movements, titled “L’Enfer en Soie” (Hell in Silk), based on “L’Hautontimoroumnos” (The Self-Tormenter)–a poem from the 1857 collection Les Fleurs du Mal, by Charles Baudelaire. The dualism that is present in the poem becomes, in this piece, an exploration of the pain of psychological torment, and the relief that may also come with one’s own tormenting behavior. This alliance of pain and pleasure is realized in a musical texture combining unusual orchestral sonorities and music with vocal-like qualities. University Orchestra Director, David Milnes, will conduct this symphonic poem, Sylvan’s Senior Honors Thesis in Music, for its first public performance at Hertz Hall, in conjunction with the Haas Scholars Spring Conference in April 2002.

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The Revolution Will Not be in the Movies: Hip-Hop Film and Politics

Amarina will travel this summer to New York City, the cultural birthplace of hip-hop, to investigate this contemporary musical and cultural phenomenon, focusing on the films and videos made about the genre. Her stay will involve an intensive schedule of research, interviews and live events, as well as video documentation, which will form the preliminary visual and theoretical groundwork for her final creative endeavor. The purpose of her immersion in hip-hop culture is an inquiry into the ways in which hip-hop functions as a mode of resistance. During the 2001-2002 academic school year, Amarina will focus her efforts on the hip-hop satellite cities of the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Her project will culminate in a video that expresses a complex definition of hip-hop as a cultural and political movement.

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The Holy Gita: The Role of the West in India's Adoption of the Bhagavad Gita as a Holy Text

A double major in Religious Studies and South Asian Studies, Erika will be researching the influence of British colonial discourse and Oriental scholarship on the adoption of the Bhagavad Gita, a Sanskrit Hindu text of the third and fourth centuries CE, as the “Hindu Bible” during the early twentieth century. She will spend the summer in India attending an advanced Sanskrit program in preparation for her analysis of major translations and interpretations of the Gita by Western scholars produced between 1890 and 1950. Her research will focus on the major role of the Gita in the social and political movements of the early twentieth century, the influence of Western translations and interpretations of the Gita on Indian political and social leaders of this period, and the ways in which this cross cultural exchange contributed to the characterization of the Gita’s holy status in Western terms. Erika will present her findings […]

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Voices of Authority and Divergence: Authorship in the Anglo-Saxon Period and in the Later Middle Ages

Bringing together and expanding his research on Anglo-Saxon and later medieval literature, Toby will investigate the “author function” as it appears (and often disappears) in these two periods. The starting point for his study will be a broad dissimilarity: in one period (the later middle ages), the idea of authorship is constantly obsessed over and manipulated; in the other (the Anglo-Saxon), authors remain nameless, and the identification of the narrative subject is often avoided outright. The main focus of the study, however, will be examples that do not fit into this general pattern: texts in which these two periods correspond in their use of the author function, and in their presentation of the subjective “I.” A double major in Comparative Literature and Italian Studies, Toby will travel to England and Italy to conduct original archival research. The resulting study, concerning both the words of the selected texts and their material […]

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Ancient Egyptian Mummy Portraits: Looking into the Faces of the Past and Present

Current Bio: Haley is an artist and land conservationist who lives in Marin County. She completed a residency at the Whitney Museum in New York City, and then completed a PhD in Visual Culture and Education. She has exhibited her art in Europe and in the US, especially New York City and the Bay Area. In her land conservation work, Mellin conserves independently with a team of advisors. Mellin currently conserves one large-scale location per year into a new park. Focus is on tropical forests for carbon reasons, pristine wilderness and for biodiversity. Haas Scholars Project: An Art Practice major, Haley will paint a series of portraits using the techniques and materials found in the Fayum mummy portraits of Ancient Egypt. These portraits, created during the first and second centuries CE for burial ritual purposes, are heralded for their technical and emotive mastery. Haley will conduct fieldwork in New York, […]

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Beloved: Toni Morrison's Rhetoric of Libation

Carlos’s interdisciplinary project, “Beloved: Toni Morrison’s Rhetoric of Libation,” has two aims. First, it will explore how Toni Morrison uses allegory and the West African concept of nommo to reconstruct historical representations of trauma, as well as practices of communal, cultural and self possession, in her acclaimed 1987 novel Beloved. Secondly, it will propose a literary theory that employs (but is not limited to) West African cosmologies in determining the implications of Beloved for African American communities. Following Barbara Christian’s observation that Beloved is a prayer, Carlos will argue that by threading allegory and nommo, two seemingly divergent epistemological systems, Morrison’s Beloved produces a cultural rhetoric of libation. As his Rhetoric Senior Honors Thesis, this project’s ultimate goal is to provide literary theorists with a model that centralizes “Third World” cosmologies and epistemologies.

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'You Aren't the First and You Won't be the Last': Unmarried Motherhood in Contemporary Rural Ireland

My research examines the changes in the prevalence of unmarried mothers in Ireland nearly a 20% between 1988 and 1999, the church and community response towards these women, and alternative interpretations of the lifestyles and demographics of single mothers. In recent years the response towards single parents has moved from one of social exclusion, condemnation towards one of outward acceptance and coping, a shift clearly influenced by the increasing prevalence of unmarried mothers and on account of moral condemnation of the alternatives of social exclusion of the mother and her child, adoption and abortion. Members of the clergy and other religious cite similar reasons for their own acceptance of single parents and for the Churchs changing attitude towards those who might have previously fallen outside the pale. I have chosen to focus on limited number of case studies and allowing for voices to be given to a few of the […]

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