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Palmore, Aaron GDesire Interrupted: Erotics, Politics, and Poetics in Horace, Odes 4
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2016, Greek and Latin
This project offers a re-examination of the relationship between love and politics in Odes 4, Horace’s final lyric collection. The fifteen poems that make up the collection are on a diverse set of topics, with love, politics, and poetics among them. I claim that the concept of desire is a thread that unifies the work. Combining the resources of psychoanalytic literary criticism and more traditional philological scholarship, I demonstrate how desire—for stability, for love, for the future—emerges systematically from slips in phonemes, thematically ambiguous language, and the consonance of love and politics. In doing so, I advocate a style of philology that is on the border of language and the unconscious. My primary method is to focus on sounds, patterns, and rhythms as material traces of desire and as significant conveyors of meaning. These material traces of desire constitute a discourse about the contingency of subjectivity in a changing socio-political landscape. Desire is predicated upon lack or absence, which conceptually links Cinara, Ligurinus, and Augustus. Horace’s poetic practice in Odes 4 attempts to overcome the insurmountable distance between himself and these targets of his desire. The collection also reenacts the Augustan achievement through its trajectory of confusion to order. Ultimately, Augustus is set up as the guarantor of this order not only in the world, but also in poetry. Throughout most of the collection, this order is imperfect: a threatening darkness lingers throughout the poems and suggests that everything is not as it seems. In the final poem, the perfect order that is proposed emerges through the systematic reorganization of desire itself, as the desire of the poetic and erotic subject is enveloped by the totalizing desire of Augustus. Among many smaller observations that emerge from reading the collection through desire, two conclusions seem most significant. First, Horace’s final collection is not a scatter-shot collection of late poems, but presents a coherent trajectory under the rubric of desire. Second, despite masquerading as an idiosyncratic lyric project, Odes 4 is informed by many of the same sort of the socio-political developments that signal the rise and fall of elegy. The collection is not about an abstract experience or poetry for the sake of poetry, but about Horace’s experience in this changing world. In this world, erotic targets of desire are analogized to Augustus and his political power until, in the final poem, the diversity and energy of desire are flattened out by Augustus himself.

Committee:

William Batstone (Advisor)

Subjects:

Classical Studies; Comparative Literature; Literature

Keywords:

Horace; Odes 4; Ligurinus; Cinara; Augustus; Lacan; psychoanalytic literary criticism; psychoanalysis

Bitely, Amelia R.“An Improbable Fiction”: How Fans Rewrite Shakespeare
Bachelor of Arts, Marietta College, 2008, English
This paper explores how fans construct works of fanfiction based on William Shakespeare's plays. Fans situate themselves within the modes of discourse common to online fanfiction communities, and within those modes of discourse, their works serve four primary functions. Writing fanfiction helps to familiarize writers with the content and style of their source texts; it also allows writers to expand upon the events and characters available in these texts; it serves as a medium for subtle critical analysis of texts, which in many ways parallels mainstream literary criticism; and it allows writers to interact with a shared-knowledge community of fanfiction writers and readers.

Committee:

Joseph Sullivan, PhD (Advisor); Jeffery Cordell, MFA (Committee Member); Beverly Hogue, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

English literature; Language Arts; Literacy; Literature; Theater

Keywords:

fanfiction; fan fiction; Shakespeare; Shakespeare fans; literary criticism; fandom; Internet; Internet fanfiction; online fanfiction; Shakespeare fanfiction; Shakespeare fan fiction

Youngkin, Molly C.Men writing women : male authorship, narrative strategies, and woman's agency in the late-Victorian novel /
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2002, Graduate School

Committee:

Not Provided (Other)

Subjects:

Literature

Keywords:

Women in literature;English literature;Feminist literary criticism

Litwin, Holly RoseCultural Criticisms Within Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Master of Arts in English, Cleveland State University, 2016, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
To understand fully Thomas Hardy’s cultural criticisms within his 1891 novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles, one must look simultaneously at the full range of these cultural criticisms. The novel is a scathing condemnation of capitalism, Victorian beliefs about women, church doctrine, the shortcomings of the educational and judicial systems, and the destructive forces that industrialization and mechanization bring to the natural world in rural agrarian England. Within the past twenty years, scholars have explicated this text in ever-more specific, detailed, and narrow areas of focus, often coming up with fascinating and meticulously researched individual topics. However, I believe that a much broader and more expansive literary explication of Tess is required in order to understand the vast array of cultural criticisms contained within the novel. To comprehend the multifaceted and complex alienated condition of modernity that Tess depicts and deplores, a more expansive reading of the novel is necessary.

Committee:

Rachel Carnell, PhD (Committee Chair); Gary Dyer, PhD (Committee Member); James Marino, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Literature

Keywords:

Tess of the Durbervilles; Thomas Hardy; literary criticism

Bitters, Todd AaronThe Philosophy of Richard Rorty Interpreted as a Literary Philosophy of Education
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2014, EDU Policy and Leadership
The central question of the dissertation is: what significance do Richard Rorty’s ideas have for education and for philosophy of education, broadly defined? Three major themes dominate Rorty’s scholarship, from Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature to his late work, that have consequences for education. One, we should suspend correspondence theories of truth and, instead, focus on a pragmatic concept of truth that eschews Cartesian models of epistemology. Two, people can be viewed as having two distinct sides—one, public, and one private. Each side may share common attitudes with the other, but one’s public and private outlooks are not necessarily reconcilable. Three, literary criticism, or literary study, is the ultimate intellectual enterprise. The primary claim of the dissertation, resulting from the interpretation of Rorty’s three ideas, is that a culture rich in literary study—based on a literary philosophy of education—is preferable to a culture in which only an elite few enjoy the benefits of serious engagement with literature. I review works by a series of scholars, published in the field of philosophy of education, that address Rorty’s ideas and their connections to education. I argue that, for the most part, scholars in the field have ignored the intersection of literary criticism and education in Rorty’s work. Finally, I outline several problems in education, as I see them in my role as an academic advisor and college administrator at The Ohio State University. The final chapter carries out a thought experiment, entitled “The Hypothetical Rorty,” that considers a Rortyan perspective on such problems.

Committee:

Philip Smith (Committee Chair); Bryan Warnick (Committee Co-Chair); Ann Allen (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education Philosophy

Keywords:

Rorty, Richard; Philosophy of Education; Literary Criticism

Snow, Seth DavidRaskolnikov and the Problem of Values
Master of Arts, University of Akron, 2013, English-Literature
This essay will propose a kind of interpretive framework based on the ideas of Russell Weaver found in his book Questioning Keats: An Introduction to Applied Hermeneutics. His contribution to Dostoevskian criticism provides a way to assess values in Crime and Punishment and expands on the idea of polyphony and doubling. While the contribution of Bakhtin is important to our understanding of Crime and Punishment, he falls short of addressing the central concern of this novel: the problem of values. To understand the way values seem to operate in Crime and Punishment, the ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche will give us a kind of framework to understand the temporal nature of values. This temporality of values is also an important key to understanding a Weaverian idea called the view of the text because Crime and Punishment provides a reader with multiple perspectives on each character in the novel. So, the view of the text is an important feature of Crime and Punishment because perspectives, by their nature, often contradict each other, requiring a reader to continually re-think and re-assess what he knows about the moral world of Crime and Punishment.

Committee:

Robert Pope, Mr. (Advisor); Patrick Chura, Dr. (Committee Member); Hillary Nunn, Dr. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Literature; Philosophy

Keywords:

Crime and Punishment; Literature; hermeneutics; phenomenology; Dostoevsky; Nietzsche; values; Russell Weaver; Bakhtin; Russian history; new historicism; epistemology; morals; literary criticism

Hartig, Andrea SLiterary Landscaping: Re-reading the Politics of Places in Late Nineteenth-Century Regional and Utopian Literature
Doctor of Philosophy, Miami University, 2005, English

My dissertation, “Literary Landscaping: Re-reading the Politics of Places in Late Nineteenth-Century Regional and Utopian Literature” explores questions about how places themselves perform in or help facilitate performances of resistance and the creation of geographic subjectivity. My chief concern at the outset of the project was to defend and demonstrate the usefulness of place as a thematic focus in the rereading of nineteenth-century American literature. I argue for the value of reading landscapes in literature as conscientiously constructed, as acts of thematic cartography. As a kind of mapping, these landscapes can be understood as political elements in the text that should be examined, explained, historicized and questioned. By moving my thematic lens through first a “regional” text, Helen Hunt Jackson’s Ramona (1884) and then a “utopian” text, Pauline Hopkins’s Of One Blood; Or, the Hidden Self (1902-03), I develop a methodology drawn from regional literary theories and cartographic criticism, a thematic lens that migrates beyond its prescribed borders illuminating the latent possibilities for reciprocal cross-genre and transdisciplinary reading practices and illuminating several profound gaps within regional and utopian literary criticism such as the exclusion of “outsider” texts in regionalism and the absence of African American and Native American texts from the utopian literary canon.

Taken as a whole, these chapters work to illustrate the following arguments. First, this project argues for the value of reading landscapes in literature as conscientiously constructed, as acts of thematic cartography. As a kind of mapping, these landscapes can be understood as political elements in the text that should be examined, explained, historicized and questioned. Second, the political power of literary landscapes is a shifting and subjective narrative element. The relative familiarity or distance of a reader to the landscape, the spatiotemporal representation, is a functional component of whether or not its constructed-ness, its political (re)presentation of location will be legible to the reader. Third, this project as a whole illustrates the problems and decisions inherent in the activity of literary criticism bent on genre creation and maintenance. By critiquing genre, this dissertation also works to challenge the unquestioned institutionalization of particular reading practices.

Committee:

Whitney Smith (Advisor)

Subjects:

Literature, American

Keywords:

Utopian literature; Regional literature; geography; cartography; literary criticism; women writers

Mayes-Elma, Ruthann ElizabethA Feminist Literary Criticism Approach to Representations of Women's Agency in Harry Potter
Doctor of Philosophy, Miami University, 2003, Educational Leadership
The purpose of this study was to deconstruct the representations of women’s agency in the text Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This study used critical theory, feminist literary criticism, and critical literacy, as theoretical foundations. A matrix for analyzing agency was created as an analytical tool; this consisted of a 2 X 2 matrix, with dimensions of agency (identity and attitude) and strategies used to achieve agency (attitude and voice). Using this matrix I first described each scene wherein a female character displayed agency. Using critical discourse analysis, I then interpreted and explained these constructions of agency, placing them in a broader social and historical context. My interpretation/explanation emphasized five themes: rule following/breaking, intelligence, validating/enabling, mothering, and “bounded” resistance. Embedded within these themes were binary oppositions, gender boundaries, and woman as the “other”. Traditional gender constructions of both men and women were found throughout the text. Ultimately, the adventure in the book is highlighted through active male characters, while passive/invisible female characters exist only as bodies in the background or enablers of male action. When the female characters do resist, their resistance is “bounded” by traditional gender conventions. Ironically, while the female characters resist evil, they never resist gender stereotypes. The study ends with implications for the development of school curricula that enable children to critically deconstruct texts.

Committee:

Sally Lloyd (Advisor)

Keywords:

critical theory; feminist literary criticism; critical literacy; Harry Potter; Agency

Reeher, Jennifer M.“The Despair of the Physician”: Centering Patient Narrative through the Writings of Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Master of Arts (MA), Ohio University, 2018, English (Arts and Sciences)
Patient narrative is often an undervalued or dismissed genre of writing in the field of literary criticism, largely because the hermeneutics of suspicion leads critics to see these texts as “misery memoirs,” as Ann Jurecic suggests. In this thesis, I argue for a new approach to reading and to criticism that moves away from the hermeneutics of suspicion and instead seeks to find conversations between patient narratives, case narratives, and popular or dominant medical and scientific texts. This shift would have readers focusing not on the ways in which an author might manipulate a story but instead on what the reader might learn from intently examining the resulting conversations. In doing so, I do not argue for a switch in the hierarchy—from doctor-patient to patient-doctor—but instead argue that both patient and case narratives have value; without both texts, we cannot have a full picture of what it is like to live with illness. Making my argument through historical examination, I prove that by examining Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s patient narratives—those found in her letters, her diaries, and her autobiography as well as in “The Yellow Wallpaper”—alongside medical and scientific texts from her time, we can not only deepen and nuance current interpretations of these texts but we can also uncover motivations that may not be immediately apparent. While “The Yellow Wallpaper,” for example, has been considered as a critique of patriarchal medicine, a horror story, and a liberation text—among others—it has never been explicitly examined as a patient narrative. This focus allows us to delve deeper into the conversation created between “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Gilman’s nonfiction narratives; I focus particularly on how we can see the eugenic arguments within “The Yellow Wallpaper” and how these arguments are connected to Gilman’s anxieties about marriage, motherhood, and her usefulness in society. While ignoring patient narratives makes literary critics and historians complicit in the history of silence that surrounds medical patients, I conclude that by instead recognizing the validity and the value of the patient narrative, literary critics and historians could (1) better contextualize some of the most popular and canonical texts, especially those in which illness is a significant driving factor, (2) develop a more complete understanding of what it is like to live with illness, and (3) create new frameworks through which to read patient narratives, as well as other autobiographical texts.

Committee:

Thomas Scanlan (Committee Chair); Mary Kate Hurley (Committee Member); Myrna Perez Sheldon (Committee Member)

Subjects:

American History; American Literature; American Studies; Families and Family Life; Gender; Gender Studies; Health; Health Care; Health Sciences; History; Literature; Medical Ethics; Medicine; Mental Health; Philosophy of Science; Psychology; Rhetoric; Science History; Womens Studies

Keywords:

Charlotte Perkins Gilman; The Yellow Wallpaper; eugenics; patient narrative; neurasthenia; hysteria; medical history; Silas Weir Mitchell; psychology; history of psychology; medicine; medicine in literature; literary criticism; Fat and Blood; 19th century

McDonald, Trent ABetween Artifice and Actuality: The Aesthetic and Ethical Metafiction of Vladimir Nabokov and David Mitchell
Bachelor of Arts (BA), Ohio University, 2014, English
This thesis is concerned with metafiction or self-conscious fiction. After discussing the status of metafiction from its postmodernist heyday (both its proponents and its critics) to current criticism, an analysis about the role of aesthetics and ethics in literature follows. The novels Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (and associated texts) are then analyzed in their own chapters. Nabokov is considered as an author averse to moral didactic fiction and enamored with aesthetically focused fiction. For Nabokov, metafiction is used as an escape from the world and into "aesthetic bliss." Mitchell, on the other hand, uses metafiction to instruct us to make our own ethical decisions without the presence of an author's guiding hand. Neither author is able to use metafiction to escape from reality as all fiction remains connected to the material world. In the conclusion, metafiction is presented as a fictional form with strengths and flaws like any other.

Committee:

Thom Dancer (Advisor)

Subjects:

American Literature; British and Irish Literature; Literature

Keywords:

Literature; Vladimir Nabokov; David Mitchell; Pale Fire; Cloud Atlas; Postmodernism; Metafiction; Aesthetics and Literature; Ethics and Literature; Richard Rorty; John Gardner; William H Gass; Metamodernism; Contemporary Literature; Literary Criticism

Souder, Eric MatthewThe Circassian Thistle: Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy's 'Khadzhi Murat' and the Evolving Russian Empire"
Master of Arts, Miami University, 2014, History
The following thesis examines the creation, publication, and reception of Lev Nikolaevich Tolstoy’s posthumous novel, Khadzhi Murat in both the Imperial and Soviet Russian Empire. The anti-imperial content of the novel made Khadzhi Murat an incredibly vulnerable novel, subjecting it to substantial early censorship. Tolstoy’s status as a literary and cultural figure in Russia – both preceding and following his death – allowed for the novel to become virtually forgotten despite its controversial content. This thesis investigates the absorption of Khadzhi Murat into the broader canon of Tolstoy’s writings within the Russian Empire as well as its prevailing significance as a piece of anti-imperial literature in a Russian context.

Committee:

Stephen Norris, Ph.D. (Advisor); Daniel Prior, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Margaret Ziolkowski, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

History; Literature; Russian History; Slavic Literature; Slavic Studies

Keywords:

Leo Tolstoy; Tolstoy; Khadzhi Murat; Hadji Murat; North Caucasus; Chechnya; Daghestan; Russian Empire; Russian Literature; Censorship; Literary Criticism; Empire; Nicholas I

Murdock, Robert PearsonScarecrow
PhD, University of Cincinnati, 2007, Arts and Sciences : English and Comparative Literature

Scarecrow is a dissertation in two parts. It begins with a book-length manuscript of original poetry that explores the uncanny process of inventing our many selves and the consequences of performing these selves under real or imagined scrutiny. The poems extend the lyric’s introspective nature by suggesting that this continual process of invention and re-invention is never certain and creates only projections – various transparent approximations of whom the speakers think they should be. The speakers’ endeavors to find something solid and immutable about themselves create the underlying tension in the manuscript. Because of the shifting nature of the self in this work, the poems rarely rely on the narrative I as a focal point and instead turn to unexpected juxtaposed topics and imagery largely taken from a palette of natural and scientific interests. From particle physics and M-theory to the contradictions that are California, the poems of Scarecrow operate under the belief that as we strive to discover the nature of the universe around us, we learn the nature of ourselves.

Complementing the manuscript is a scholarly essay titled “Transgression and Transformation: Racial Negotiation in Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘Brazil’ Poems.” This essay investigates the poetic techniques Elizabeth Bishop devised in the “Brazil” section of her book Questions of Travel to scrutinize how racial identities were constructed and positioned in postcolonial Brazil.

Committee:

Dr. Joanie Mackowski (Advisor)

Subjects:

Literature, American

Keywords:

Twenty-First Century American Poetry; Literary Criticism; Elizabeth Bishop

RIS, CYNTHIA NITZIMAGINED LIVES
PhD, University of Cincinnati, 2003, Arts and Sciences : English and Comparative Literature
This dissertation consists of a collection of original poetry by Cynthia Nitz Ris and a critical essay regarding William Gaddis’s novel A Frolic of His Own. Both sections are united by reflecting the difficulties of utilizing past experiences to produce a fixed understanding of lives or provide predictability for the future; all lives and events are in flux and in need of continual reimagining or recharting to provide meaning. The poetry includes a variety of forms, including free verse, sonnets, blank verse, sapphics, rhymed couplets, stanzaic forms including mad-song stanzas and rhymed tercets, variations on regular forms, and nonce forms. Poems are predominantly lyrical expressions, though many employ narrative strategies to a greater or lesser degree. The first of four units begins with a long-poem sequence which serves as prologue by examining general issues of loss through a Freudian lens. The second section looks more specifically at a localized event—the breakup of a marriage—and ends with another long poem that seeks to recast the events through the use of navigational themes. The third section expands that view to more general losses and the attempts by the subjects and the poet to navigate those events. The final section, including three dramatic monologues, uses four personae to revisit some of the issues raised in the collection through more specific acts of remembering prior events. The critical essay looks closely at William Gaddis’s use of varieties of spheres— including the institutional and private—and the use of various forms of exposition, to argue that society’s attempts to order life are ultimately futile. The acceptance of that futility and the willingness to embrace the unpredictability of life are suggested as the only possible sources of hope for a satisfying existence.

Committee:

Dr. Don Bogen (Advisor)

Subjects:

Literature, English

Keywords:

Poetry; Literary Criticism; William Gaddis; Narrative

HOLLAND, ANYA B.BLURRING BOUNDARIES: ISSUES OF GENDER, MADNESS, AND IDENTITY IN LIBBY LARSEN'S OPERA 'MRS. DALLOWAY'
MM, University of Cincinnati, 2005, College-Conservatory of Music : Music History
Although Libby Larsen’s opera Mrs. Dalloway (1992) is not Larsen’s most frequently performed opera, its subject matter and musical content offer a wealth of cross-disciplinary avenues for investigation. Mrs. Dalloway challenges the traditional linear pattern of operatic plot, blurs boundaries of gender and madness, and emphasizes characterization above all else, thereby presenting numerous possibilities for gendered interpretations. In order to explore musical and literary interpretations of gender, madness, and identity in Mrs. Dalloway, this thesis will analyze these issues with respect to the interaction of literary and operatic criticism. Larsen corroborates Woolf’s literary ideals musically. Her compositional tools, for example, confirm Woolf’s notion that there is not a clear division between sanity and insanity, and that gender is ambiguous. Larsen also parallels Woolf’s literary style in a musical manner, by such techniques as recurring musical gestures.

Committee:

Dr. Karin Pendle (Advisor)

Subjects:

Literature, English; Music

Keywords:

Larsen, Libby; feminist criticism; feminist musicology; American opera; Woolf, Virginia; literary criticism